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DEFENSE/U.S. State Dept. approves sale of military equipment to Taiwan

02/22/2024 12:27 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) The U.S. Department of State has approved the potential sale to Taiwan of advanced tactical data link system upgrade planning worth US$75 million, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

The approval -- the 13th under the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden and the first since Taiwan's Jan. 13 elections -- comes amid heightened tensions between Taiwan and China relating to the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen islands.

In a press release, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the package would include cross-domain solutions, high-assurance devices, GPS receivers, communications equipment, technical services and other related elements of logistics and program support.

"The proposed sale will improve [Taiwan's] ability to meet current and future threats by enhancing communications and network security, and providing infrastructure to allow the secure flow of tactical information," the DSCA said.

The DSCA said it had notified the U.S. Congress of the potential sale. The approval does not indicate that a contract for the equipment has been signed, and the principal contractors have yet to be determined.

In response, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Thursday it had requested that Washington upgrade the Taiwanese military's command and control system and intelligence surveillance system data links, to enhance the effectiveness of the existing common operational picture and establish military interoperability.

"Taiwan and the United States will continue to consolidate our security partnership to jointly maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region," the MND said.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) also expressed gratitude to the United States for fulfilling its security commitments to Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances.

The arms sale shows that the Biden administration has placed great importance on Taiwan's defense needs and strengthening its defense and deterrent capabilities, MOFA added.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh, Christie Chen and Matthew Mazzetta)

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