WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration plans to sell three advanced weapons systems to Taiwan after notifying Congress of the deals on Friday, Defense News has confirmed.
The administration sent Congress an informal notification that it plans to sell Taiwan the systems amid rising tensions between China and Taiwan, but also the United States. First reported by Reuters, the notification follows reports the Trump administration was pushing the sale of seven large packages of weapons to Taiwan.
The move is likely to further anger China, as the country claims Taiwan as its territory and has recently stepped up its threats to use force against the island if necessary. This week, in the wake of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s calls for peaceful dialogue, China released new footage showing a large-scale military exercise simulating an invasion.
The U.S. sales involve the Lockheed Martin-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, a truck-mounted rocket launcher; the Boeing-made over-the-horizon, precision strike missile Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response; and external sensor pods for Taiwan’s F-16 jets.
In recent weeks, the Trump administration announced a deal to sell Taiwan 66 new F-16 fighter jets, a high-level visit from the U.S. State Department, and plans for a new economic dialogue with Taiwan focused on technology, health care, energy and other sectors.
Reuters reported that notifications for the sale of other weapons systems, including large, sophisticated aerial drones, land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and underwater mines to deter amphibious landings have yet to reach Capitol Hill, but these were expected soon, the sources said.
Joe Gould is the senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry. He served previously as Congress reporter.