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Obama administration authorizes $1.83-billion arms sale to Taiwan…China is livid


AAV-P7A1 amphibious assault vehicles of the Taiwan Marine Corps are seen as part of a parade during Taiwan's National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei October 10, 2011. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

The Obama administration formally notified Congress on Wednesday of a $1.83-billion arms sale package for Taiwan, including two frigates, anti-tank missiles, amphibious assault vehicles and other equipment, drawing an angry response from China.

The authorization, which Reuters on Monday reported was imminent, came a year after Congress passed legislation approving the sale. It is the first such major arms sale to Taiwan in more than four years.

The White House said there was no change in the longstanding U.S. “one China” policy. Past U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan have attracted strong condemnation in China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province.

The White House said the authorization followed previous sales notifications by the administration totaling more than $12 billion under the Taiwan Relations Act.

“Our longstanding policy on arms sales to Taiwan has been consistent across six different U.S. administrations,” a National Security Council spokesman, Myles Caggins, said. “We remain committed to our one-China policy,” he added.

Although Washington does not recognize Taiwan as a separate state from China, it is committed under the Taiwan Relations Act to ensuring Taipei can maintain a credible defense.

The sales come at a period of heightened tension between the United States and China over the South China Sea, where Washington has been critical of China’s building of man-made islands to assert expansive territorial claims.

China summoned the U.S. charge d’affaires in Beijing, Kaye Lee, to protest and said it would impose sanctions on the companies involved, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. China strongly opposes the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan,” Xinhua quoted Vice Foreign


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