WASHINGTON: The US Department of State has signed off on Taiwan’s request to purchase more than 100 M1A2T Abrams tanks and a long list of related equipment, including Stinger missiles, in a deal valued at more than $2 billion, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a press release on Monday.
“This proposed sale of  M1A2 tanks will contribute to the modernization of the recipient’s main battle tank fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” the release stated. “The total estimated program cost is $2 billion.”
In addition, the United State agreed to sell Taiwan 250 shoulder fired Stinger anti-aircraft missiles for $224 million, the DSCA said in a separate release.
Beijing considers self-governing Taipei to be part of its territory and claims sovereignty over the island. Taiwan, however, has repeatedly rejected Beijing’s claim and still bears the name of the pre-Communist-era government, the Republic of China, whose territorial control was confined to the island at the conclusion of the civil war in 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was established on the mainland.
In May 2019, the US House of Representatives unanimously passed the “Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019,” which urges Taiwan to increase its defence spending. Additionally, the act states that the US should allow “regular sales and defense articles” to Taiwan and should defend the island’s participation in international organizations.