Taiwan to buy 400 anti-ship missiles from US amid tensions with China: Report

Taiwan is reportedly in the process of buying 400 land-launched Harpoon anti-ship missiles from the US in a move that is expected to draw condemnation from China which considers the self-ruled island part of its own territory.

Citing US-Taiwan Business Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers and sources, Bloomberg News reported on Monday that Taiwan was poised to purchase 400 missiles under the $1.17 billion contract announced by the Pentagon on April 7.

At the time, the Pentagon said production was expected to complete by March 2029.

Commenting on the news report, Taiwanese Defense Ministry spokesperson Sun Li-fang said at a regular news conference the ministry had previously disclosed information about the purchase, adding it was “confident” the deal would go according to schedule.

In 2020, Taipei said it planned to obtain land-based Boeing-made Harpoon anti-ship missiles as part of its military modernization efforts.

According to Bloomberg, Taiwan previously purchased the ship-launched version of Harpoon missiles, but the new contract marks the first time it will get the mobile, land-based variant.

The contract with Boeing (BA.N) was issued by the US Naval Air Systems Command on Taiwan’s behalf, Bloomberg cited Hammond-Chambers as saying.

Beijing views Chinese Taipei as an inseparable part of China, repeatedly warming Washington against unwise provocations in this regard.

China has previously warned Washington that providing the self-ruled island with advanced weaponry would breach Chinese sovereignty and do “severe damage” to bilateral relations.

The report comes days after US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in California and stressed the need to accelerate arms deliveries to the self-ruled island.

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