The US has approved new arms exports to Taiwan worth $1.1 billion amid tensions with China, according to media reports. Congress in Washington was officially informed by the government on Friday (local time) of the intended sale, as reported by the Washington Post and CNN, among others. A clear majority is expected in Parliament. The package includes 60 Harpoon anti-ship missiles and 100 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, as well as support for an anti-aircraft radar warning system.

The new deliveries are justified by the government of US President Joe Biden with increasing pressure from China on the democratic island republic, for example with an increased military presence in the air and at sea. That’s why the United States is providing Taiwan with what the island needs for self-defense, CNN quoted a statement from a White House adviser as saying. The US magazine “Politico” initially reported on the package.

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China sees the democratically governed island as part of the People’s Republic. Taiwan, on the other hand, sees itself as independent. The US recently accused Beijing of making a “clear attempt” to permanently change the status quo with its maneuvers around Taiwan. “We have made it very clear publicly that changing the status quo is unacceptable – and that we will not recognize it,” said National Security Council communications director John Kirby.

A visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in early August sparked serious tensions with China. Beijing began large-scale maneuvers. A sea and air blockade and a possible conquest were practiced. Nevertheless, other delegations with US politicians traveled to Taiwan shortly afterwards. A delegation from the Bundestag also wants to go there this fall.

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