- The Washington Times - Friday, June 7, 2019

In a deal that has drawn the anger of mainland China, Taiwan has signed a multibillion-dollar weapons deal with the Trump administration for hundreds of new tanks, rockets and surface-to-air missiles, defense officials in Taipei confirmed this week.

The Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said the nation’s military will receive 100 M1A1 Abrams battle tanks, 1,240 BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, 409 FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 250 surface-to-air Stinger missiles in the estimated $2 billion arms package.

The new Abrams tanks, built by U.S. weapons maker General Dynamics, will replace Taiwan’s aging American-made M60A3 battle tanks and the Taiwanese-manufactured M48H CM11 tank, defense officials in Taipei said. The publication Jane’s Defence first reported details of the arms deal.

The deal falls in line with defense Taiwan Relation Act, which legally binds the United States to provide arms and material to support the Taiwanese military. The announcement also comes amid rising tensions between Taipei and Beijing.

But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that China, which views Taiwan as a renegade province, firmly opposes the arms deal.

“We urge the U.S. to fully understand the high sensitivity and serious harm of the issue of arms sales to Taiwan and abide by the one-China principle,” Mr. Geng told reporters in a Beijing briefing Thursday.

• Carlo Muñoz can be reached at cmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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