Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Brandon Drey.
Taiwan will purchase roughly 400 Harpoon anti-ship missiles - crafted by aircraft industry leader Boeing - as a measure of protecting its coastal zones against a potential invasion from China.
Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the US-Taiwan Business Council, told Bloomberg that the contract with Boeing on Taiwan's behalf by the US Naval Air Systems Command marks the first time the island will have purchased land-launched versions of the missile. Taiwan has previously bought ship-launched Harpoon missiles from Boeing.
The pending agreement comes after Congress approved a deal in 2020. Pentagon officials announced a $1.7 billion contract with Boeing earlier this month. However, the contract did not mention Taiwan as the buyer.
Army Lieutenant Colonel Martin Meiners, a Defense Department spokesman, declined to confirm whether Taiwan is the purchaser but said, "we will continue to work with industry to provide Taiwan defense equipment in a timely manner."
"The United States' provision to Taiwan of defense articles, which includes sustainment to existing capabilities via Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales, is essential for Taiwan's security,"
Meiners told Bloomberg.
China's Communist Party, which views the self-governed democratic island of Taiwan as its territory, has threatened to pressure and internationally isolate the island. Tensions have increased between both lands after U.S. lawmakers met with Taiwan officials, sparking Chinese officials to conduct military drills around the island.
Earlier this month, U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and dozens of lawmakers, including the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in California, defying threats from China.
During a joint press conference with Tsai, the House speaker said he believes U.S.-Taiwan relations are stronger than ever. Still, as tensions worldwide have reached their highest point since the end of the Cold War, McCarthy condemned authoritarian leaders for provoking needless conflicts with violence and fear.
McCarthy said he does not intend to escalate tensions with China. However, he called for continuing arms sales to Taiwan, enhancing economic cooperation, and promoting shared values with the island.
A spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense said the nation opposes the "transit"
of President Tsai into the U.S. or any official exchange between the two countries, saying such a move "seriously violates"
the one-China principle.
"In response to the seriously wrong actions of the US-Taiwan collusion, China will take resolute and forceful measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,"
the spokesperson said in a news release.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited Taiwan last summer despite Chinese officials warning against her trip overseas.
China viewed Pelosi's visit as a huge affront, calling her actions "vicious and provocative"
in visiting the island that China considers its sovereign territory. Even the Biden administration, which made a point of saying it does not consider Taiwan independent, expressed frustration.
Bloomberg reported the Center for Strategic and International Studies conducted a series of "tabletop war games,"
which featured land-launched Harpoon missiles.
"Because of their mobility and ability to range the entire strait, these missiles were highly effective against Chinese invasion forces,"
said analyst Mark Cancian who managed the exercises. "They also reduced the need to station U.S. forces on the island. However, 400 is not nearly enough. The Taiwanese need many more."
The deal also includes the F-16 Block 70 fighter, the MK-48 torpedo, the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, and the Stinger missile, according to the outlet.
The U.S. House Committee on Armed Services could discuss the Harpoon sale on Tuesday during a hearing focusing on the Indo-Pacific.