London, Tuesday, 8 February 2022 -
The military aid comes amid rising tensions over the self-governed democratic island that Beijing claims as its own.
The United States has approved a new $100 million sale of equipment and services to Taiwan, which will be used to upgrade the self-ruled island nation's missile defense systems.
According to a statement from the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the transaction would include engineering "services support, aimed to sustain, maintain, and improve" the island nation's Patriot Air Defense System.
It is President Joe Biden's second military sale to Taiwan since taking office in January 2021.
"(It) promotes the United States' national, economic, and security interests by assisting the recipient in modernizing its armed forces and maintaining a credible defense capability," according to the DSCA.
Taiwan's presidential spokesman, Xavier Chang, expressed gratitude to Washington for "once again taking real action to fulfil its security promises."
"This military transaction underscores the US government's continued commitment to Taiwan's self-defense capabilities and our strong bilateral relationship," he said.
"Taiwan's continuous position that we will neither succumb to pressure nor act rashly when we have support," the official said.
"In order to strengthen our national defense and jointly maintain peace, stability, development, and prosperity in the Taiwan Strait and the greater Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan will continue to enhance our self-defense capabilities while deepening our security partnership with like-minded countries, including the United States," he added.
Taiwan, an island republic with a population of 24 million people, is claimed by China as a renegade province, but Taipei has maintained its independence since 1949 and maintains diplomatic relations with at least 15 nations.
Beijing has refused to rule out the possibility of a military takeover of the island.
(Reporting by: The Decision Maker – International Relations editors)
(Picture by: Wikipedia)