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US approves sale of ammunition to Taiwan worth $619 million


The United States approved a round of arms sales to Taiwan consisting of $619 million worth of ammunition for F-16 fighter jets

ByHUIZHONG WU Associated Press

Taipei, Taiwan– The United States has approved more arms sales to Taiwan, including $619 million worth of ammunition for F-16 fighter jets, in a move likely to be another sticking point between the United States and China. China, which claims the island as its own territory.

The State Department said in a statement late Wednesday that it had approved the sale of missiles for use with the F-16s as well as equipment to support the missiles. This includes AGM-88 anti-radiation missiles, as well as air-to-air missiles and launchers.

Taiwan is unofficially backed by the United States and has a fleet of F-16s purchased from the United States. and a host of other issues, including an alleged Chinese spy balloon that flew across the United States before being shot down last month.

China regards Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought under its control by force if necessary, and has intensified its military and diplomatic harassment. The parties split amid the civil war in 1949, and the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party never dominated the island.

The United States is Taiwan’s main supplier of military equipment, and China has opposed past sales through sanctions and other actions.

Once arms sales are approved, their delivery can take years, and Taiwan has cited consistent delays in receiving the weapons it has purchased.

The weapons will be supplied by Raytheon Missiles and Defense and Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.