The State Department approves a $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan despite expected Chinese backlash over the island’s sovereignty.
The State Department announced the deal on Monday which includes the sale of 250 Stinger missiles and 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2T Abrams tanks.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency released a statement saying, “The recipient intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its existing air defense architecture to counter threats.”
The statement continued by reassuring the arms deal will not tip the balance of military involvement in the region.
Taiwanese officials touted the move saying it will continue to enhance bilateral ties with the U.S. and will continue to invest in defense overall.
China considers Taiwan its own and slammed the move shortly after it was announced saying, “crude interference in China’s internal affairs, harming China’s sovereignty and security interests.”
The Chinese foreign ministry even urged its American counterparts to cancel the deal.
Experts worry as trade talks are expected to restart this week, the recent announcement may continue to heighten tension between the U.S. and China.
Congressional lawmakers have 30 days to raise objections to the sale, however, it is unlikely they will do so.
The United States is Taiwan’s main arms supplier.