• Directory of Taiwan

Biden to push Congress for US$1.1 billion weapons sale to Taiwan

Package includes 60 anti-ship missiles, 100 air-to-air missiles, surveillance radar

Harpoon Block II missile. (US Navy photo)

Harpoon Block II missile. (US Navy photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Biden is reportedly preparing to request that Congress give the green light for a US$1.1 billion (NT$30.4 billion) weapons sale to Taiwan that includes at least 160 anti-ship and air-to-air missiles.

Three sources with knowledge of the sale were cited on Monday (Aug. 29) by Politico as saying the deal includes 60 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles at a cost of US$355 million, 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder missiles worth US$85.6 million, and US$655.4 million to cover the renewal of a surveillance radar contract. According to the sources, the Sidewinders are meant for Taiwan's F-16 fighters.

After Biden submits the formal proposal, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee must agree to the deal before it can be finalized. According to the news site, congressmen are likely to sign off on the sale, but it could be a protracted process due to the current congressional break.

Members of either committee have yet to comment publicly on the announcement, nor has the U.S. State Department or White House.

Reuters cited sources saying that announcements on more weapons in the "approval pipeline for Taiwan" could be released in the coming weeks or months. However, according to three anonymous sources, the sales will be fixated on weaponry presently in Taiwan's arsenal and filling existing orders, rather than selling new systems "more likely to inflame already red-hot tensions with China."