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China opposes USD 1.1 billion arms sale package to Taiwan

Washington: China on Friday (local time) opposed the USD 1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan at a time of heightened cross-strait tensions.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington told Sputnik China opposes the newly approved USD 1.1 billion US arms sale package to Taiwan and will take necessary counter-measures. "China is firmly opposed to this," Chinese Embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu said when asked about the arms package, which includes anti-ship and air-to-air missiles.
"China will resolutely take legitimate and necessary counter-measures in light of the development of the situation," said Liu.
The spokesperson added that the United States interferes in China's internal affairs and undermines China's sovereignty and security interests by selling arms to the Taiwan region.
US announced the sale of approximately USD 1.1 billion in military equipment including Harpoon and Sidewinder missiles to Taiwan.
Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DCSA) confirmed in a series of statements that Washington has approved the sale of military equipment to Taiwan.
The US State Department approved an estimated USD 355 million sales of Harpoon Block II Missiles and related equipment to Taiwan in order to modernize the island's defence capabilities and serve US security interests, said DSCA.
The State Department also made a determination approving the sale of Block II Sidewinder Missiles and related equipment at an estimated cost of USD 85.6 million, according to DCSA.
The possible sale of USD 665.4 million in Surveillance Radar Program support and equipment was also approved, DCSA added.
The proposed sales will not alter the basic military balance in the region, DCSA also said. The proposed sales come amid increased tension between Washington and Beijing over a contentious trip to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi's trip to Taiwan this month triggered a new round of tensions in the region. Ever since the visit of the US delegation, Beijing launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island, which included live-fire drills and military aircraft overflights close to Taiwan's airspace.
China's ruling Chinese Communist Party views Taiwan as part of its territory, despite having never controlled it, and has long vowed to "reunify" the island with the Chinese mainland, by force if necessary. (ANI)

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