The United States has announced a $1.1 billion weapons deal for Taiwan.

 The United States has announced a $1.1 billion weapons deal for Taiwan.

The United States on Friday announced a new $1.1 billion arms package for Taiwan and pledged to further bolster the island's defenses amid rising tensions with Beijing.

The United States has announced a $1.1 billion weapons deal for Taiwan.

The sale comes a month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a bold visit to the self-governing democracy, leading mainland China to stage a show of force that might be a prelude to an invasion.

The package, the largest approved for Taiwan by President Joe Biden's administration, includes $665 million for contractor assistance to maintain and enhance a Raytheon radar early warning system that has been in service since 2013 and would alert Taiwan to an oncoming assault.

Taiwan will also spend about $355 million to buy 60 Harpoon block missiles ( II ) that can detect and sink incoming ships if China launches a waterborne attack.

The defense spending also includes $85.6 million for more than 100 Sidewinder missiles, which are a mainstay of Western forces because of their air-to-air firepower.

The declaration came a day after Taiwanese forces shot down an unidentifiable commercial drone in the midst of a strange wave of strikes that has shook the island.

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, which approved the sale, said the package was "essential to Taiwan's security."

"We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialog with Taiwan," the spokesman said.

The State Department said the United States continues to recognize only Beijing, which claims the island as its own.

"These proposed sales are routine cases to support Taiwan's ongoing efforts to modernize its armed forces and maintain a credible defense capability," the spokesman said.

"The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues that meets the aspirations and interests of the people of Taiwan," he said.

- Strong U.S. Support -

The sale requires U.S. congressional approval, which is all but assured, as Taiwan enjoys strong support across party lines.

Biden officials made it plain to China in advance of Pelosi's second-tier White House visit that she does not represent administration policy, as Congress is a distinct and co-equal arm of government.

The arms permission, on the other hand, obviously came from the Biden administration, even if it is consistent with sales since 1979, when the US acknowledged Beijing while agreeing to keep Taiwan's capacity to defend itself.

On a trip to Tokyo in May, Biden appeared to break with decades of U.S. policy when he said the United States would defend Taiwan directly if attacked, although his advisers later retracted his remarks and insisted that U.S. policy remained ambiguous.

China sees Taiwan as a province that must be reunified, by force if necessary. After losing the civil war on the mainland, China's nationalists formed a parallel government in Taiwan in 1949, but the island has since blossomed into a thriving democracy and a significant technological hub.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has generated concerns about whether China may follow suit in Taiwan and if the island can defend itself.

In a July appearance, the head of CIA, Bill Burns, said Chinese President Xi Jinping was still determined to take control of Taiwan, but that Russia's problems in Ukraine may have prompted Beijing to wait and make sure it has an overwhelming military advantage.

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