The US government has approved a sale of up to $95 million worth of training and equipment to support Taiwan’s Patriot Air Defense System, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
“The proposed sale will help to sustain the recipient’s (Taiwan’s) missile density and ensure readiness for air operations,” the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.
The Defense Department added that Taiwan will use the proposed training and equipment as a “deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense.”
The move follows a similar approval in February of training and support for Taiwan’s missile defense systems, and is the third military sale approved under US President Joe Biden.
The first major arms sale to Taipei under Biden was last August, which saw the approval of 40 155mm M109A6 medium self-propelled howitzer artillery systems.
China has massively ramped up its saber-rattling in recent years, sending 969 Chinese warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone in 2021, according to a database compiled by AFP — more than double the roughly 380 in 2020.
China regards Taiwan as its territory and has vowed repeatedly to seize it one day, by force if necessary.
Washington has remained Taipei’s most important ally and leading arms supplier despite switching diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979.