Taming the Dragon? Washington Approves Sale of Offensive Weapons to Taiwan

The United States has announced its approval of two offensive weapons deals for Taiwan, which could provoke anger from China.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated that the U.S. State Department had approved the potential sale of the Switchblade missile system, which is anti-personnel and anti-armor, to Taiwan for $60.2 million.

The Pentagon also confirmed that the U.S. State Department had approved the potential sale of up to 291 Altius 600M-V drones to Taiwan for an estimated cost of about $300 million.

The main contractor will be Anduril.

Taiwan’s new authorities had announced their intention to build deterrent capabilities amid tensions with China.

China considers Taiwan, which is self-governed, part of its territory and rejects any infringement on its sovereignty over the island.

Last month, China concluded military drills around the island and toughened its rhetoric towards Taipei, threatening “war” following remarks by Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te, which Beijing deemed separatist.

Beijing asserts that it prefers a “peaceful” reunification with the island, home to 23 million people with a democratic governance system, but does not rule out the use of force if necessary to achieve this goal.

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