Overshadowed by China's Invasion, Taiwan and US Sign Patriot Missile Procurement Agreement

Overshadowed by China's Invasion, Taiwan and US Sign Patriot Missile Procurement Agreement
Taiwan and US Sign Patriot Missile Procurement Agreement

Taipei - Taiwan and the United States have signed an agreement to maintain the MIM-104 Patriot air defense system on the island for another five years. This was announced by the Taiwanese authorities through a post. According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), which first reported on the matter, the deal was announced on the Taiwan Ministry of Defense's online procurement platform.

According to the Hong Kong-based newspaper, a source in Taiwan's military said the deal calls for engineering teams from Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, two US defense contractors, to be stationed in Taiwan on a long-term basis.

"Delivering the group (to Taiwan) will not only help improve the serviceability of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles but also ensure timely service to our systems," the source told SCMP. 2022).

The deal was reportedly made after China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) fired 11 missiles at Taiwan during military exercises last August, held in response to a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to the island. During the visit, Pelosi, the third-highest US official, spoke with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and condemned the People's Republic of China (PRC) for seeking to reunite Beijing with the island. Beijing has always considered Taiwan part of its territory.

US support for the government in Taiwan is seen by Beijing as interference in China's internal affairs, especially since Washington shifted its recognition of China's legitimate government from Taipei to Beijing in 1978. Since 2016, US support for President Tsai Ing-wen's government has strained its relationship with China, culminated in a promise to reintroduce Taiwan into the country.

At the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party earlier this week, President Xi Jinping doubled down on that promise, saying that peaceful or forced reunification "must be fulfilled." Read: Taiwan Confirms Fully Prepared for Chinese Invasion US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Admiral Michael Gilday, head of US naval operations, have both voiced the latest warnings in recent days that China's timeline for reuniting with Taiwan may be accelerated.

The US has been increasing its arms sales to Taiwan, trying to make the island "as thorny as possible" to prevent a Chinese attack. This includes a large number of asymmetric weapons, such as cruise missiles, air defense systems, and torpedoes, as well as radar and other support systems.

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