The US recently approved the sale of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan valued at approximately $180 million, drawing sharp reactions from China.
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The variant of the torpedo being sold to Taiwan by the US includes advanced sonar and technologies to lower detection, including quieting systems, according to manufacturer Raytheon.
Taiwan embassy in Washington had reportedly requested for the purchase, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement. If the deal clears the congressional review, it will include the torpedoes, spare parts, support and test equipment, training, and technical and logistical support.
China criticised the US decision on the proposed arms sale to Taiwan, urging Washington to cut defence ties with the ‘renegade province’ and limit the damage China-US ties.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily news briefing that China lodged a protest after the US State Department approved a possible sale of 18 MK-48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology Heavy Weight Torpedoes and related equipment to Taiwan.
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China demands Washington to respect one-China policy as well as the three China-US joint communique, Zhao said. The State Council Taiwan Affairs Office also expressed firm opposition to the sale on Thursday.
Ma Xiaoguang, the spokesman for the office, said Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party authority randomly wastes taxpayers’ hard-earned money on US arms, which will only threaten peace and security across the Taiwan Straits and hurt the interests of the people.
China strongly opposes to any form of official exchanges between the US and Taiwan, including military contact, he said.
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The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency released a statement about the weapons sale on Wednesday, the latest example of the US showing support to Taiwan, which has further strained already deteriorated China-US ties.
The statement came the same day that Taiwan leader Tsai Ingwen was inaugurated to a second term as president of the ‘renegade province’, which Beijing claims to be a part of mainland China.