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Arms sales show support for Taiwan's self-defense: U.S. officials

ROC Central News Agency

2015/12/17 12:59:27

Washington, Dec. 16 (CNA) The US$1.83 billion arms sales package for Taiwan announced Wednesday is in line with the Taiwan Relations Act and U.S. support for Taiwan's ability to maintain sufficient self-defense capability, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. administration notified Congress of the proposed sale of two Perry-class frigates, Javelin anti-tank missiles, TOW 2B anti-tank missiles, AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles, follow-on work for Taiwan's Syun-An C4ISR systems, Link 11/Link 16 for Taiwan's naval ships, F-16 MIDS/NTAMS/Fuzes, Phalanx close-in weapons systems, and Stinger surface-to-air missiles, according to David McKeeby, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

The arms sales will take effect if Congress does not voice any objections within 30 days of notification.

Both McKeeby and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the announcement is consistent with U.S. support for Taiwan's ability to maintain sufficient self-defense capability.

They also reiterated that there is no change to Washington's one China policy based on the three joint communiques between the United States and China, and the Taiwan Relations Act.

This is the third arms sales package announced by the administration under U.S. President Barack Obama, who has previously approved sales totaling US$12.2 billion, according to McKeeby.

He also responded in an e-mail to questions raised by the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, including the four-year gap between the latest sale and the previous one and the lack of any new defense capabilities that can 'counter changes to the Chinese threat.'

The newly announced package, he said, is built on previous notifications and supports Taiwan's efforts to develop more innovative and asymmetric defensive capabilities.

'While arms sales are an important component of our overall security relationship, they are far from the only measure,' McKeeby said, adding that military exchanges and engagements between Taiwan and the U.S. have nearly doubled in recent years.

He said the U.S. believes its policy 'has contributed to the security of Taiwan' and 'supports the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,' in which the U.S. has a deep and abiding interest.

(By Rita Cheng and Kay Liu)

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