US State Department responds to China regarding Taiwan arms deal

State Department: US aims to promote cross-strait peace and stability

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U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus (by Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The U.S. State Department has responded to China’s complaints about Taiwan’s historic purchase of U.S. military equipment, reaffirming the deal’s legality and peaceful intentions.

The recent approval of the US$2.2 billion (NT$68.6 billion) U.S. arms sale to Taiwan has drawn the ire of the Chinese government. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the deal, claiming that it is a “crude interference” in China’s “internal affairs,” and called for it to be canceled.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus issued a swift response to China’s claims, telling reporters that “our interest in Taiwan, especially as it relates to these military sales, is to promote peace and stability across the strait, across the region,” reports Liberty Times.

Ortagus reiterated that “there is no change of course in our longstanding one-China policy,” and that the proposed sale is in compliance with the Taiwan Relations Act. The Act was passed by Congress in 1979 and safeguards U.S.-Taiwan relations with a view to maintaining peace and stability in the Western Pacific.

The sale, the biggest of its kind in decades, includes 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger portable anti-aircraft missiles, and Hercules armored vehicles. Congress has been notified of the deal which is expected to be confirmed in approximately 30 days.