The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of 40 155mm howitzer artillery systems to Taiwan in a $750 million agreement, the Pentagon says.
This follows last year’s U.S. sales of drones and coastal missile defenses, meant to defend from a Chinese invasion. The Biden administration earlier approved other commercial sales of arms to Taiwan.
The sale is to include howitzers, precision guidance kits for munitions, spare parts, training, ground stations and upgrades for Taiwan’s previous generation of howitzers, the Pentagon said.
In thanking the United States, Taiwan’s defense ministry said the sales would help its military increase their “capacity for speedy reaction and fire support”.
The Taiwanese referred to U.S. arms sales as a “basis for maintaining regional stability.”
However, China’s foreign ministry criticized the sale, noting it was “firmly opposed” to the transfer of arms and had lodged “stern representations” with the United States, in comments posted on the ministry’s website.
Further, the Chinese said that the arms sale interfered in China’s domestic affairs and warned that China would take countermeasures.
While the United States no longer has diplomatic ties with Taiwan, U.S. law requires its government to provide the island with the means to defend itself.