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Iran Press TV

US approves weapons sales to Taiwan worth of $1.4 billion

Iran Press TV

Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:50PM

The US State Department has approved weapons sales to Taiwan worth a total of $1.4 billion, a move which is certainly going to anger China which considers the self-governing island part of mainland China.

According to a State Department official, the arms sales to Taiwan contains seven items, including Early Warning Radar Surveillance systems, the Joint Stand-off Weapon, anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and components for SM-2 missiles.

"These sales primarily represent upgrades to existing defense capabilities aimed at converting current legacy systems from analog to digital," the official said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Thursday the Trump administration had notified Congress of its plan to approve the seven sales to China.

Nauert claimed the sales did not violate the Taiwan Relations Act that defines American contacts with the island country.

"It shows, we believe, our support for Taiwan's ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense policy," Nauert said. "There's no change, I should point out, to our 'one-China policy.'"

Despite trying to calm the tensions, the administration of former President Barack Obama had also challenged the 'One China' policy by authorizing military deals with Taiwan.

Despite strong opposition from China, the Obama administration sold weapons worth of $1.8 billion in 2015. The deal included two Navy frigates, missiles, and amphibious assault vehicles.

Trump has openly said that he will not commit to the 'One China' policy unless Beijing changes its currency and trade policies.

Trump has often questioned America's commitment to the 'One China' policy in the China-Taiwan row.

The 'One China' policy refers to the policy or the diplomatic acknowledgement that there is only one state called China, despite the existence of two governments – one in China and another in the island of Taiwan.

Under the policy, the United States recognizes and has formal ties with the government in Beijing rather than Taiwan. China has considered Taiwan a breakaway province since a government was established there in 1949. Beijing believes the island will be reunified with the mainland one day.

After winning the November 8 presidential election, Trump stirred tensions when he talked over the phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, an unprecedented move that angered Beijing.

The conversation between Trump and Tsai was a first by a US president or president-elect since Washington cut ties with Taiwan in 1979 and committed to the 'One China' policy.

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