The United States took another step towards further aggravation of relations with China. The U.S. State Department approved the sale of 18 MK-48 heavy torpedoes to Taiwan for $180 million. Official Washington called the upcoming supply of shock weapons a mutually beneficial deal, reports today, May 21, the agency France-Presse.
“This sale is in the interests of the U.S. in the field of national economy and security, supporting the ongoing efforts of the recipient (Taiwan) to modernize its armed forces and maintain a reliable defense capabilities,” the State Department said in a statement.
Beijing views Taiwan as part of its territory and rejects any attempt by the United States to act as a security guarantor for the separatist regime on the island.
The delivery of anti-ship torpedoes “will help improve the recipient’s security and help him maintain political stability, military balance and economic progress in the region,” the U.S. foreign ministry added.
It is specified that the MK-48 torpedoes, which can be launched from a submarine, will be supplied from existing U.S. Navy stocks.
On the eve of May 20, China strongly condemned U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for sending a congratulatory message to President of Taiwan Cai Ying-Wen on her inauguration. Official Beijing called the step of the head of American diplomacy “extremely wrong as well as very dangerous”. In his message, Pompeo welcomed Cai Ying-Wen for her “courage and vision in leading a dynamic Taiwanese democracy.
“The U.S. step is an interference in China’s internal affairs and is seriously damaging to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The U.S. administration’s actions were also condemned by the Chinese Defense Ministry, which warned that the People’s Liberation Army of China has “the will, confidence and ability to overcome any form of external interference and conspiracy by separatist forces. The military ministry statement also stated that Beijing would take “all necessary measures to firmly defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
Taiwan is one of the hot spots in U.S.-China relations, which traditionally includes a trade war between the two major world economies, China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors in the South China Sea, where the Americans are trying to “patrol the freedom of navigation,” and recently – the confrontation between Washington and Beijing around the issue of the origin of the coronavirus Covid-19.