Taiwan approved to buy Harpoon missile system from U.S.

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Taiwan’s government appreciated the United States on Tuesday for its plans to sell Taiwan a coastal defense cruise missile system with 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles for 2.37 billion dollars.

Presidential spokesman Xavier Chang said Taipei expressed sincere gratitude to the U.S. after the official notification of the sale to Congress was issued by the U.S. State Department.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the package is the fourth sale of arms to Taiwan by the Trump administration.

The ministry said the purchase would help Taiwan modernise its military capability to cope with “China’s military expansionism and provocation” and thereby “maintain regional peace and stability.”

In May, Vice Defense Minister Chang Che-ping confirmed to legislators Taiwan sought to purchase the Boeing-made mobile coastal defense missile system from the U.S. along with Harpoons to boost anti-ship defenses.

Earlier, Washington announced plans to sell Taiwan an advanced artillery rocket system, long-range air-to-ground missiles and external sensor pods for F-16 jet fighters.

Tensions have risen over numerous incursions of Chinese military into Taiwanese airspace and territorial waters.

On Monday a Chinese air force Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft transgressed the southwest corner of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the democratic island part of its territory. (dpa/NAN)