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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pentagon notifies Congress of arms package sale to Taiwan

ROC Central News Agency

08/10/04 14:04:09

By Chiehyu Lin and Y.F. Low

Washington, Oct. 3 (CNA) The U.S. Department of Defense officially notified Congress Friday of six possible weapons sales to Taiwan worth a total of US$6.46 billion.

The deals announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency cover 330 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles, as well as associated equipment and services, valued at US$3.1 billion, and 30 AH-64D Block III Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters, as well as associated weapons, equipment and services, valued at US$2.532 billion.

Also included are 32 UGM-84L Submarine-Launched Harpoon Block II missiles and 2 UTM-84L Harpoon Block II Exercise missiles, as well as associated equipment and services, valued at US$200 million, and 182 Javelin guided missile rounds and 20 Javelin command launch units, as well as associated equipment and services, valued at US$47 million.

The deal includes the upgrade of four E-2T Aircraft to the Hawkeye 2000 configuration, as well as associated equipment and services, valued at US$250 million, and the establishment of a blank order requisition case for follow-on spare parts in support of F-5E/F, C-130H, F-16A/B, and Indigenous Defense Fighter IDF aircraft, communication equipment, radar and other related elements of logistics support, valued at US$334 million.

The U.S. State Department told CNA that the sales are in line with the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act and are a substantial move by the Bush administration to fulfil its commitment to provide Taiwan with the necessary defensive weapons to help it maintain a strong defense capability.

In a statement released later in the day, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) said Taipei welcomes and appreciates Washington's efforts to honor the U.S. commitment to Taiwan.

TECRO said the sales not only mark the end of an eight-year dispute over the issue but also symbolize the arrival of a new era for Taiwan-U.S. mutual trust and cooperation.

It said Taiwan's government firmly believes that a strong defense is necessary to maintain the country's security and prosperity.

"Procuring the necessary defensive weapons from the United States is not only helpful to national security but will also help reduce the chances of a miscalculation of the cross-Taiwan Strait situation, thus promoting a peaceful development of cross-strait relations and peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, " the TECRO statement said.

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