TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan is not seeking to get involved in an arms race with China but does need a credible combat capability, Defence Minister Yen De-fa said on Thursday, after the United States approved a potential $1.8 billion arms sale to the Chinese-claimed island.
Beijing has applied increasing pressure om democratically-ruled Taiwan to accept China’s sovereignty, including by flying fighter jets across the sensitive mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, which normally serves as an unofficial buffer.
The latest U.S. arms package includes sensors, missiles and artillery, and further congressional notifications are expected for drones made by General Atomics and land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles, made by Boeing Co, to serve as coastal defence cruise missiles.
Speaking to reporters, Yen thanked the United States and said the sales were to help Taiwan improve their defensive capabilities to deal with the “enemy threat and new situation”.
“This includes a credible combat capability