Potential arms sale to Taiwan could put China’s east coast in the crosshairs

MELBOURNE, Australia — The U.S. State Department’s approval of the potential sales of air- and ground-launched, long-range land-attack missiles is a marked departure from previous American policy of only selling so-called defensive weapons to Taiwan.

This broadens the options for the self-governing island to mount not only a ground-based counterstrike in the event of Chinese ballistic missile attack on Taiwan, but would also enable it to disrupt a potential Chinese invasion by striking ports, air bases and other military targets across the Taiwan Strait.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday that the State Department approved three separate arms packages to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Sales program.

The potential $1.8 billion deal is for 135 Boeing AGM-84H SLAM-ER missiles; 11 Lockheed Martin M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems; and six sets of Collins Aerospace’s MS-110 multispectral long-range oblique photography pods.

The DSCA notification did not identify the aircraft

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