The US State Department approved a plan to supply $500 million worth of military equipment to Taiwan

Image source: Alex Wong/ Getty Images

Washington. August 23. INTERFAX - The US State Department on Wednesday approved the possible sale of equipment for F-16 fighters to Taiwan in the amount of $ 500 million.

The message of the American Foreign Ministry notes that this delivery will include search and tracking systems used on these fighters in the infrared spectrum.

The Pentagon, in turn, said that these supplies "do not fall under the definition of basic military equipment," and therefore "comply with US policy and legislation."

"The proposed sale serves the national and economic interests of the United States. It also supports the efforts of the consumer in the field of modernization of its armed forces and its defensive capabilities," the Pentagon communique says.

Washington believes that Taiwan will not have any difficulties accepting this equipment on the balance of its armed forces, and the deal will not change the main military balance in the region.

Meanwhile, in early July, the Chinese Defense Ministry accused the United States of consistently destabilizing the situation with Taiwan in connection with Washington's plans to sell military equipment worth $440.2 million to Taipei.

"This step is tantamount to turning Taiwan into a powder keg and plunging the Taiwanese into the abyss of disaster," Tang Kefei, a representative of the Chinese defense ministry, said at the time.

He said that the United States ignores the most important interests of China, interferes in its internal affairs and deliberately contributes to the growth of tension in the Taiwan Strait.

US military supplies to Taiwan cause a sharp reaction in Beijing, which views them as a violation of the principles of diplomatic relations between the two countries and China's sovereignty, interference in its internal affairs, as well as Washington's support for the idea of Taiwan's independence.

Earlier, Taiwan signed deals for $ 19 billion for the purchase of such weapons from the United States as F-16 fighter jets and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, but their delivery is delayed.

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