Pentagon Claims Congress has Received Notification Regarding Drone Sales with Taiwan

The Pentagon has claimed that the U.S. State Department has sent a formal notification to the U.S. Congress regarding the sale of four aerial drones manufactured by the country to Taiwan, thereby completing the final formality in sealing this deal, which may further strain the relations between the U.S. and China. This deal, costing about $600 million, is the first to be finalized after President Trump relaxed a few policies related to the export of highly secure and sophisticated drone technology. 

Not too long ago, Reuters reported that the U.S. administration is keen on carrying out at least four more sales related to important military weapons and equipment with Taiwan. All four deals combined are estimated to be valued at around $5 billion. These deals are bound to increase China’s pressure, as the U.S. government still has serious doubts about Beijing. 

The formal notification issued by the U.S. State Department to Congress has a time period of 30 days in which the latter can raise any objections if it finds anything absurd. However, the U.S. Congress’s chances of rejecting this notification are very slim, considering the amount of support provided to the Taiwan defense. 

The four aerial drones of MQ-9 SeaGuardian make have been manufactured by the General Atomics Aeronautical System, Inc, situated in San Diego, California. These drones have their ground stations with which they would be associated. They would also be having spare parts and training details. All the drones would be equipped with arms. Hence, they would be used to fit the surveillance equipment. 

Back in September, Reuters had reported plans of selling important defense weapons to Taiwan, the plans of which were already on, taking into account all the policies and procedures related to U.S. export.

The Congress received notifications from the State Department on October 21, regarding the first phase of weapons sale to Taiwan. The truck-based rocket launchers manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp, the Boeing Co manufactured Rocket System (HIMARS) Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles and similar equipment, as well as external sensor pods that are used for F-16 jets, were a part of this defense weapon sale.

The U.S. proceeded further with the sale of 100 cruise missile stations coupled with 400 land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles on October 26. Boeing Co has manufactured all of these. 

Beijing always thinks of Taiwan as a headstrong country and claims that it plans to bring it under its control, even if it has to use force. On the other hand, Washington feels that it is a significant democratic outpost, and hence, according to the law, it can arrange for a means to defend itself. 

With regards to the weapons sale between the U.S. and Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense in China has given out the following statement on October 27: “China strongly urges the U.S. side to immediately withdraw plans of arms sales to Taiwan, cease US-Taiwan military contacts and stop selling weapons to the island.”

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