The Pentagon announced on August 4 that the US State Department had approved the sale of 40 M109 self-propelled guns to Taiwan (China), worth $ 750 million.
Precisely, the administration of US President Joe Biden has approved the sale to Taiwan of 40 M109 self-propelled howitzers manufactured by BAE Systems and related equipment, including 1,698 kits to equip primary guided weapons.
“This proposed acquisition serves the national, economic, and security interests of the United States by supporting the recipient’s continued efforts to modernize its military,” the statement said. arming and maintaining a credible defence. The agreement will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economy and progress in the region.”
Following the announcement, the deal will be subject to congressional review within 30 days, and lawmakers can block the sale if they so desire. However, in general, arms sales to Taiwan receive strong bipartisan support in the US Congress.
This is the first arms sale to Taiwan this year and according to Bloomberg , the move will anger Beijing.
The sale comes after Taiwan signed several contracts to buy US weapons last year, including drones and a coastal missile defence system aimed at enhancing its defence capabilities. Agency Reuters said the administration President Joe Biden has also approved several transactions directly selling weapons to Taiwan.
Meanwhile, China regularly criticizes whenever the US approves more weapons for Taiwan.
In November 2020, China said it would take “appropriate and necessary response” after President Donald Trump’s administration approved the $600 million sale of drones to Taiwan. The Beijing side said that this was “gross interference in China’s internal affairs and seriously undermining China’s sovereignty and security interests”.
In recent months, China has stepped up military exercises near the island, involving both warplanes and ships.
Last week, during a tour of Asia, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned Taiwan, “we will not flinch when our interests are threatened” but affirmed “do not seek confrontation first” with China.