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US eyes Taiwan arms deal

By: Reuters

WASHINGTON – The United States plans to sell Taiwan $1.42 billion in arms, the first such sale under the administration of Donald Trump and a move sure to anger China, whose help the president has been seeking to rein in North Korea.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters the administration had told Congress of the seven proposed sales on Thursday.

“It’s now valued about $1.42 billion,” she said.

The State Department said the package included technical support for early warning radar, high speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components.

Nauert said the sales showed U.S. “support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” but there was no change to the United States’ long-standing “one China” policy, which recognizes Beijing and not Taipei.

The United States is the sole arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.

Beijing has given Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen the cold shoulder since she took power last year because she leads an independence-leaning ruling party and refuses to recognize the “one China” policy.

On Friday, Tsai’s office said that her government will continue “to seek constructive dialogue with Beijing, and promote positive developments in cross-strait relations.”

Asked about the sale at an event on Thursday evening in Washington, China’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai said the United States was “incorrigible” when it comes to Taiwan, the official party paper the People’s Daily reported on its website.

“But we should still continue to instruct (them) and continue advancing on the right track of China-U.S. relations because this is what truly fits with for both countries’ long term interests,” the paper quoted Cui as saying.

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