(Reuters) - The United States is pursuing the sale of more than $2 billion worth of tanks and other weapons to Taiwan, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters, prompting anger from China.
The United States is a main arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems its own. Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-ruled and democratic island under its control.
China has for years opposed U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, but has taken little concrete action in response to them.
Here is a list of previous U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan and significant Chinese reactions:
- In 2008, a U.S. decision to sell Taiwan $6.5 billion in arms, including 30 Apache attack helicopters and 330 Patriot missiles, prompted Beijing to cancel military exchanges with the United States.
- In 2010, the Obama administration announced a package of arms to Taiwan worth $6.4 billion, including Black Hawk helicopters, missiles and mine-hunting ships.
China for the first time threatened to impose sanctions on U.S. companies involved in arms sales to Taiwan and cut off all military exchanges with the United States.
- In 2011, the U.S. government announced the sale of arms worth $5.85 billion to Taiwan, including upgrades for 145 of Taiwan’s fighter jets.
- In 2015, the U.S. government’s announcement of a $1.83 billion arms sale package for Taiwan, including two frigates, anti-tank missiles, amphibious assault vehicles and other equipment, drew an angry response from China, which threatened to penalise the companies that made the armaments.
- In 2017, the United States decided to sell Taiwan $1.42 billion in arms, the first such sale under the administration of President Donald Trump. China said the decision contradicted a “consensus” President Xi Jinping reached with Trump in talks in April in Florida.
- In 2018, the U.S. State Department approved the sale to Taiwan of spare parts for F-16 fighter planes and other military aircraft worth up to $330 million.
- In April of this year, the U.S. State Department approved the sale to Taiwan of a pilot training programme and maintenance and logistics support for Taiwan air force F-16 fighters based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona at an estimated cost of $500 million.
Writing by Liangping Gao and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel