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US plan to sell torpedos to Taiwan angers China

Taipei: The US government has notified Congress of a possible sale of advanced torpedoes to Taiwan worth around $US180 million ($274 million), further souring an already bitter dispute between Washington and Beijing, which claims Taiwan as Chinese territory.

The United States, like most countries, has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is bound by law to provide the democratic island with the means to defend itself. China routinely denounces US arms sales to Taiwan.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, centre, walks ahead of Vice-President Lai Ching-te, left of her, as they attend an inauguration ceremony in Taipei.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, centre, walks ahead of Vice-President Lai Ching-te, left of her, as they attend an inauguration ceremony in Taipei.Credit:Taiwan Presidential Office

The US State Department has approved a possible sale to Taiwan of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology Heavy Weight Torpedoes and related equipment for an estimated cost of $US180 million, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today,” it added.

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