March 25, 2023

The Biden administration will ask Congress to approve a $1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan as China and Russia hold major war games in the region.

Politico reported first about the deal, saying the package includes 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles, citing three sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

China has been more aggressive toward Taiwan since President Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island earlier this month.

China has stepped up military exercises around Taiwan following Chairman Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island earlier this month.

Taiwan’s National Military of Defense handout photo taken last week shows US-made M60-A3 tanks firing during an exercise in the Penghu Islands

Chinese soldiers will participate in exercises in Sergeyevsky, Russia, on Monday as part of a joint training between the two countries

In a photo from the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry, Chinese military helicopter gunships fire missiles during joint war games with Russia and China last year. The two countries will participate in more war games this week

Pelosi was the first Speaker of the House to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

Since then, Beijing has daily sent warships and planes into the Taiwan Strait.

And in response to Pelosi’s visit – which China warned about in advance – Beijing fired rockets over the island for the first time.

The Chinese believe that Taiwan belongs to them and do not like it when foreign government officials visit the island because it can appear that those countries support Taiwan’s independence.

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A number of other US government officials, including Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, have visited Taiwan this summer.

Blackburn referred to Taiwan as an “independent nation” during her trip.

Politico reported that the package – which is still in the early stages – includes 60 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles for $355 million, 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical air-to-air missiles for $85.6 million and $655, 4 million for an extension of the surveillance radar contract.

The Sidewinder missiles arm the F16 fighter jets that Taipei previously purchased from the United States.

US officials have expressed concern that China is trying to take Taiwan by military force, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The US and Western allies have tried to strengthen the defenses of the island.

In addition, from September 1, China and Russia will participate in joint military exercises involving more than 50,000 troops, more than 5,000 weapons units, including 140 aircraft and 60 warships.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also strongly condemned Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan in early August.