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U.S. arms sales improves Taiwan's self-defense capability: MND

ROC Central News Agency

2017/06/30 12:35:15

Taipei, June 30 (CNA) An arms sale to Taiwan worth US$1.42 billion cleared by the U.S. government will improve Taiwan's self-defense capabilities, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on Friday.

The deal, which was approved by Washington on Thursday, will help maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait, the MND said, thanking the U.S. for its support.

The U.S. weapons sale to Taiwan, which will take effect within a month, is the first arms sales announced by the Trump administration.

The deal is based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the Six Assurances, the MND explained.

The package covers eight items Taiwan asked for last year, which are expected to enhance the country's air and navy defense system, as well as early warning capabilities, according to the MND.

The items include MK48 heavyweight torpedos, high-speed anti-radiation missiles, AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare shipboard suite upgrades and SM-2 missile components.

The MND said it will discuss with the U.S. the exact number of weapons, their price and a delivery schedule.

The TRA was enacted in 1979 by the U.S. Congress to maintain commercial, cultural and other unofficial relations between the U.S. and Taiwan after Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The act also requires the U.S. "to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character."

The Six Assurances given to Taiwan in 1982 by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan include pledges by the U.S. not to set a date to end arms sales to Taiwan, not to hold prior consultations with China regarding arms sales to Taiwan and not to play a mediation role between Taiwan and China.

They also include assurances that the U.S. will not revise the TRA, alter its position regarding Taiwan's sovereignty, or pressure Taiwan to enter into negotiations with China.

(By Claudia Liu and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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