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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

MOFA welcomes U.S. announcement of arms sales to Taiwan

ROC Central News Agency

2010/01/30 15:21:16

Taipei, Jan. 30 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) welcomed on Saturday the U.S. government's announcement that it would sell Taiwan US$6.4 billion worth of defensive arms, calling it clear evidence of good Taiwan-U.S. ties.

A MOFA spokesman said the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has often reaffirmed that it would fulfill its obligation to sell weapons to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and that the U.S. government's decision was welcome.

The U.S. government notified the U.S. Congress Friday of its decision on the arms sales package, which includes 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, worth US$3.1 billion, two Osprey Class mine hunting ships, and 12 ATM-84L and RTM-84L Harpoon Block II Telemetry missiles.

Also included are 114 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles and technical support, worth US$2.82 billion, 35 multifunctional information distribution systems low volume terminals (MIDS/LVT-1) and 25 MIDS On Ships Terminals.

The arms sale will take effect if the U.S. Congress does not voice any objections within 30 days of the notification. It was reported that the package would become effective in a week.

In a statement issued Saturday, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) also welcomed and appreciated the U.S. government's decision to sell the weapons to Taiwan under the framework of the TRA, a move which it said will boost Taiwan's confidence in its efforts to promote cross-Taiwan Strait detente.

The MND also said the planned sale of defensive weapons will help Taiwan step up its military modernization, and it pledged to continue its military buildup program in line with the country's policy and military strategy. The package did not include the advanced F-16 fighter planes long sought by Taiwan, but Premier Wu Den-yih said later Saturday in Kaohsiung County that the government will continue its efforts to acquire them.

He called on the U.S. to sell the military equipment that Taiwan needs at reasonable prices to help Taiwan shore up its defensive capability and maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait.

A senior Washington official said Friday he believes U.S.-China ties will not be affected by the arms sales to Taiwan.

Speaking on background, the official said the sale was based on the TRA and comes at a time when China continues to strengthen its military deployment aimed at Taiwan.

Apart from helping Taiwan bolster its confidence in the U.S., the arms package should also help Taiwan proceed with its efforts in advancing cross-strait peace, which has made some initial gains.

(By S. Y. Yao and Flor Wang) enditem/ls

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