The United States on Monday said it had approved a $2.4 billion sale of 100 Harpoon coastal defense systems to Taiwan, defying Beijing’s anger over a $1 billion missile deal last week.
The announcement came just hours after Beijing said it would sanction US firms involved in an earlier arms sale to the democratic self-ruled island.
The proposed sale of the Harpoon systems “will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance… and progress in the region,” the State Department said in a statement.
The deal involves 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS), which includes 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II surface-launched missiles with a range of around 78 miles (125 kilometers).
The missiles, manufactured by Boeing, can be positioned on fixed platforms or mounted on trucks.
The office of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen released a statement thanking the United States for the sale, saying it would “upgrade asymmetric warfare capabilities.”
Chinese leaders view democratic and self-ruled Taiwan as part of their territory.
Beijing has ramped up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan since the 2016 election of Tsai, who views the island as a de facto sovereign nation and not part of “one China.”