The US Government announced the sale to Taiwan of 100 maritime defense systems Harpoon and 400 such missiles for $ 2.37 billion (€ 2.007 million), a transaction to which China had warned it would respond with sanctions.
The Trump Administration “today formally notified Congress of a sale of one hundred Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS), including 400 missiles of surface RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II, worth 2.370 million dollars, “reported a State Department official who asked not to be identified.
Taiwan Self Defense
Even before the announcement, the Chinese Government announced the imposition of sanctions on the manufacturers of this missile system, Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense and Raytheon.
According to the State Department, the sale that must now be approved by the Congress of the United States, includes material “necessary to enable (Taiwan) to maintain sufficient self-defense capacity.”
“If the sale is finalized, this system will improve defensive ability from Taiwan, which intends to use its own funds for this purchase, “the official said.
Tensions with China
The Trump administration has maintained a policy of confrontation with China and has prioritized strengthening relations with Taiwan, including arms sales, despite the fact that in 1979 Washington broke off relations with Taipei, which became informal, after recognizing the People’s Republic of China.
In addition to a policy of imposition of tariffs, the current US Administration sent its Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, to Taiwan last August in the first visit by a higher-ranking official to the island since then.
Taiwan is considered a sovereign territory with its own government and political system under the name of the Republic of China since the end of the civil war between nationalists and communists in 1949, but Beijing maintains that it is a rebel province and he insists that he must return to what he calls the common homeland.
“The US maintains a permanent interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and believes that the security of Taiwan is essential for the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region in general, “said the US official.
“Our long-standing policy on defense material sales a Taiwan has remained constant in seven different US administrations and contributes to the security of Taiwan and the maintenance of peace and stability throughout the Taiwan Strait, “he added.
In addition to the systems Harpoon coastal defense and the additional 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II missiles, the sale includes four RTM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II exercise missiles and 25 radar trucks, spare parts, support equipment and training.
“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the military balance basic in the region, “said the US Agency for Cooperation and Security in Defense. On the contrary, he added,” it will help maintain political stability, military and economic balance and progress in the region.
The main contractor of the missile system is the Boeing company, although the Chinese authorities have announced sanctions also to Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, companies that are involved in the manufacture of other weapons equipment proposed to Taipei.