The United States announced on Monday that the U.S. has agreed on prospective five-year equipment and engineering service plan worth $100 million to Taiwan. According to Reuters, the U.S. plan will “sustain, maintain, and improve” its Patriot missile defense system, prompting Beijing’s anger and threats to retaliate.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said: “This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability.”
The agency also added in a statement that for Taiwan, the upgrades to the Patriot Air Defense System would “help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region.”
China, which insistently rejects recognizing Taiwan’s independence and claims self-governing Taiwan as its own, regularly expresses its displeasure with U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian expressed strong condemnation of the U.S. decision, telling reporters that “China will take appropriate and forceful measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty and security interests.”
China has imposed restrictions on Lockheed Martin and other U.S. corporations in the past for providing weapons to Taiwan, though it is unclear what form the penalties have taken.
When reporters asked Zhao what steps China would take this time, he said they would have to wait and see.
According to the US DSCA, the principal contractors for the service plan will be Raytheon Technologies (RTX.N) and Lockheed Martin (LMT.N).