Taiwan military officials expect approval for US$2.6 billion arms deal 'within days'

Government officials say weapons sale on track for delivery

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M1A2 Abrams tank (Photo from Military.com)

M1A2 Abrams tank (Photo from Military.com)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The sale of 108 M1A2 Abrams tanks and missile defense systems to Taiwan is on track for approval in Washington D.C., according to unnamed Taiwan government officials.

Reuters reports that the Taiwan government is optimistic that approval of the US$2.6 billion arms deal, which was initially reported in early June, will be officially announced in Washington within the coming days.

Previously, it was reported that a faction within the White House, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, was stalling the weapons deal on account of pending trade negotiations between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Following the conclusion of the talks, which took place on June 29 at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, the fate of the massive arms deal remained uncertain. However, Taiwanese officials speaking to Liberty Times are reportedly anticipating the arrival of the new equipment in stages, with procurement expected to be completed by 2027.

According to the report, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has already held consultations with U.S. military officials on the most strategic locations for the deployment of the M1A2 tanks, most of which will reportedly remain in the north of the island.