The US approves $619 million worth of arms sales to Taiwan

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TAIPEI, Taiwan – The US has approved more arms sales to Taiwan, including $619 million worth of weapons for F-16 fighter jets, in a decision likely to be a another source of friction between the US and China, which claims the island. own area.

The State Department said in a statement Wednesday night that it had approved the sale of missiles to be used by the F-16s as well as equipment to support the missiles. That includes AGM-88 anti-radiation missiles, as well as air-to-air missiles and launchers.

Taiwan receives unofficial support from the US and a fleet of F-16s has been purchased from the US Tensions between China and the US are at their highest level in years over American support for the self-governing island, including visits by high-ranking politicians, and several other cases, including a suspected Chinese spy balloon that flew over the US before being shot down last month .

China considers Taiwan part of its territory to be brought under its control by force if necessary, and has been resisting military and diplomatic harassment. The sides split amid civil war in 1949, and the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party never took control of the island.

The United States is Taiwan’s main supplier of military equipment, and China has countered sales in the past with sanctions and other actions.

Once an arms sale is approved, delivery can take years, and Taiwan has cited regular delays in receiving weapons it has purchased.

The arms will be supplied by Raytheon Missiles and Defense and Lockheed Martin Corporation.

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