US State Department okays potential deal of 100 Boeing-made Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems to Taiwan, a decision sure to anger China.

US Navy launches a harpoon surface-to-surface missile during Pacific Vanguard exercises in the Philippine Sea on May 26, 2019.
US Navy launches a harpoon surface-to-surface missile during Pacific Vanguard exercises in the Philippine Sea on May 26, 2019. (Reuters Archive)

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of 100 Boeing-made Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems to Taiwan in a deal that has a potential value of up to $2.37 billion. 

The proposed sale of the Harpoon systems "will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region," the State Department said in a statement on Monday.

The move comes days after the State Department approved the potential sale of three other weapons systems to Taiwan, including sensors, missiles and artillery that could have a total value of $1.8 billion which prompted a sanctions threat from China.

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Earlier on Monday in Beijing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters China will impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, Raytheon and other US companies it says are involved in Washington's arms sales to Taiwan.

The US decision comes as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China ahead of November 3 presidential election and US concerns rise about Beijing's intentions toward Taiwan. 

Beijing sees Taiwan as a renegade province that it has vowed to reunite with the mainland, by force if necessary.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies