Trump administration approves sale of torpedoes to Taiwan amid tensions with China

Trump administration approves sale of torpedoes to Taiwan amid tensions with China
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The Trump administration notified Congress on Wednesday that it has approved the sale of $180 million worth of torpedoes to Taiwan amid tensions with China, though the deal is not yet final.

The statement from the U.S. Defense Cooperation Agency indicated that the State Department had approved a sale of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology heavyweight torpedoes to the country, which is not officially recognized by the U.S. or most other nations.

“The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today,” the agency said in its statement.

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The sale, it added, would support Taiwan's "continuing efforts to modernise its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability."

China's Foreign Ministry reacted to the sale in a statement to reporters, telling Reuters it had expressed "solemn representations" with the sale to U.S. officials.

China considers Taiwan part of its territory, and the island is formally recognized by only a handful of countries around the world and has no voting representation at the United Nations. It does, however, have defense agreements with several Western nations, complicating China's efforts to absorb the country.

The U.S.-China relationship has been fraught with tension in recent weeks due to the Trump administration's frequent statements blaming Chinese officials for not sufficiently responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, while Chinese officials have accused the U.S. of spreading anti-China sentiment around the world.