- An official told CNN that the package would include advanced missiles and torpedoes
- The US says the sale does not indicate a change to the “one China” policy
Speaking to reporters at an embassy reception in DC Thursday, Ambassador Cui Tiankai said recent US moves eroded the trust built when US President Donald Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida in April.
On Thursday, the Trump administration notified Congress of its plans to go ahead with the controversial arms package, the first such sale under President Trump.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the agreement included “seven proposed defense sales for Taiwan,” adding that the deal was valued at “about $1.42 billion.”
A US official familiar with the deal told CNN that the package would include advanced missiles and torpedoes including the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon and MK 48 6AT Heavy Weight Torpedoes.
It will also include technical support for an early warning radar system.
The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, signaled strong support for the sale, calling it “long overdue” in a statement issued shortly after its announcement.
Congress has 30 days to raise any objections to the deal.
Both announcements came during Trump’s meeting with South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in at the White House. Both leaders are anxious to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile program.
US relations with China
China considers self-governing democratic Taiwan a renegade province and Beijing has not ruled out using military force to bring Taiwan under its rule.
The US does not recognize Taiwan — officially known as the Republic of China — as an independent country, and adheres to the “one China” policy, which means it does not maintain an official relationship with Taiwan.
Nauert added that there was no change to the “one China” policy.
“Today’s notifications are consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, and our support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” a US official familiar with the sale told CNN.
Under the Taiwan Relations Act the US is legally required to provide Taiwan with the ability to defend itself.
However, the Trump administration has since said that it remains committed to the decades-long “one China” policy.
But China has long criticized US arms sales to Taiwan and the latest announcement is likely to draw protest from Beijing.
The State Department also issued a statement marking the 20th anniversary of the transfer of Hong Kong from the UK to China, saying the US was “concerned about any infringements on civil liberties” in Hong Kong.
It is unknown how the announcements will impact on Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the meeting of the G20 next month.