The government yesterday thanked Washington for another proposed arms sales package to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities.
“Taiwan’s government thanks the US government for once again providing important defensive weapons in the wake of last week’s announcement of a three-part arms sales package,” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said in a statement yesterday.
“This sale once again constitutes concrete action by the US government to fulfill its security commitments under the ‘six assurances’ and the Taiwan Relations Act, and also demonstrates that the US government considers assisting Taiwan to strengthen our self-
Photo: Chen Cheng-liang, Taipei Times
defense capabilities a matter of great importance,” he said.
In the face of China’s military expansionism and provocation, Taiwan will further modernize its defense capabilities and upgrade its asymmetric combat capabilities, in a bid to maintain regional peace and stability, it said.
The latest package includes up to 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$2.37 billion, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a news release.
Also included are 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Surface- launched Missiles, four RTM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Exercise Missiles, 411 containers, 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense System launcher transporter units, 25 radar trucks and other related logistics services and support, it said.
The agency has delivered the required certification notifying the US Congress of the possible sale, it added.
The proposed sale would improve the recipient’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing a flexible solution to augment existing surface and air defenses, but would not alter the basic military balance in the region, it said.
The US Department of State’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs also announced the sale on Twitter.
The notice came just five days after Washington announced the possible sale of a US$1.8 billion package that includes 11 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems M142 launchers and 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response Missiles, as well as surveillance and reconnaissance sensors to be mounted on aircraft.
The US has normalized its arms sales to Taiwan and reviewed Taiwan’s purchase proposals upon request, rather than holding and approving accumulated proposals all at once, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) wrote on Facebook.
The weapons provided by the US also feature long-range and precision combat capabilities, and can be mounted on existing systems, he added.
Following Washington’s announcement last week, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) on Monday said that Beijing would impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin Corp, a Boeing Co defense unit, Raytheon Technologies Corp and other US companies involved in the US’ arms sales to Taiwan.
China would take “necessary measures” to safeguard national sovereignty and security interests if the US does not drop its arms sale plans, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said yesterday in a China Central Television news report.
SURPRISE GUEST: Media reports identified the visitor as Admiral Michael Studeman, director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command A two-star US Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday. The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. They were speaking on condition of anonymity. After initially saying on Sunday night that it had no comment about the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed the visit of an “unidentified US official,” but declined to give more details because the trip “has not been made public.” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday
AUTUMN STRUGGLE: The KMT and TPP set up stages on the rally’s sidelines, while Want Want boss Tsai Eng-meng said the DPP was curtailing freedom of speech Tens of thousands of people in Taipei yesterday took part in the “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) — an annual protest march by labor groups — but with this year’s focus on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residue. “Against poisonous pork, against double standards, against a party-state,” the protesters, mostly wearing black, chanted in front of the rally’s main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard at about noon, before a parade set off at 2pm. Autumn Struggle spokesperson Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) said this year’s march was divided into three teams, with the first team urging food safety and labor
DEFENSE: The construction of indigenous submarines will be a testament to the nation’s commitment to safeguard its sovereignty, President Tsai Ing-wen said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday presided over a ceremony to mark the start of construction of the nation’s first indigenous submarine at state-run shipbuilder CSBC Corp’s (台灣國際造船) shipyard in Kaohsiung. “This submarine is an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships from surrounding Taiwan’s main island,” Tsai said. “With the construction of the submarine to its future commission, we will certainly let the world know our persistence in safeguarding our sovereignty.” Tsai has made boosting the nation’s indigenous defense capacity a central pillar of her defense policy. She recently relaunched the
DECLINING ENROLLMENTS: Premier Su Tseng-chang said the draft act addresses the closure of private senior-high schools and universities struggling to survive The Executive Yuan yesterday passed a draft act to govern the closure of private schools, in a bid to address low enrollment caused by Taiwan’s low birthrate. The act — which would apply to all private senior-high schools and universities that are struggling to survive due to low enrollment — would authorize the Ministry of Education to set up a fund to help them gradually cease operations; subsidize students’ education, accommodation and transportation expenses; and pay the salaries and insurance of faculty. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told the weekly Cabinet meeting that the government expects some of these private educational institutions to