MOFA welcomes latest US arms sales to Taiwan

The latest arms sales to Taiwan approved by the U.S. Department of State are sincerely appreciated by the government and the people, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs July 9.

The decision reflects the commitment of the U.S. to the Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances, as well as the importance placed on ensuring the country maintains robust defensive capabilities in the 40th year of the TRA, the MOFA said.

Major items included in the sales are 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger surfacetoair missiles, and related equipment and services. The tanks and Stingers are valued at around US$2 billion and US$223.56 million, respectively.

This is the second U.S. weapons package for Taiwan this year and fourth under the administration of President Donald J. Trump. In April, the U.S. Department of State greenlighted a pilot training program and maintenance and logistics support estimated at US$500 million for the country's F16 fighters at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

According to the MOFA, Taiwan is described as a reliable, capable and natural partner contributing to U.S. missions around the world in the IndoPacific Strategy Report released June 1 by the U.S. Department of Defense.

As a strong, prosperous and democratic Taiwan is part of the rulesbased international order, the U.S. is pursuing a sound partnership and will faithfully implement the TRA as part of a broader commitment to the security of the IndoPacific, the report added.

The MOFA said in light of China's ongoing campaign of coercion against Taiwan, U.S. arms sales are instrumental in maintaining crossstrait and regional peace and stability.

Taiwan will continue investing in national defense and enhancing security cooperation with the U.S. and other likeminded partners to safeguard the country's freedom and democratic way of life, the ministry added.

Source: Taiwan Today