The US has approved the sale of $180million worth of torpedoes to 'improve the security of' Taiwan amid rising tensions with China.
“This proposed sale serves US national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” the State Department said.
The sale “will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region,” the statement added, a reference to Washington’s strategic priority of countering Beijing’s influence.
The MK-48 torpedoes which can be launched from a submarine – are being provided from existing US Navy stock, the State Department said.
The Trump administration has approved several arms sales. In 2018, it approved a sale of spare parts for Taiwanese military aircraft, including Taiwanese F-16s and F-5E/Fs. In 2019, the administration approved a sale for 108 M1A2T main battle tanks and 66 F-16C/D Block 70 fighters and associated equipment.
Washington has long provided arms to the territory as part of the 40-year-old Taiwan Relations Act.