U.S. Approves $120 Million Sale To Maintain Taiwanese Warships.
The United States has approved a possible $120 million sale of parts to help Taiwan maintain its warships, which the island’s defence ministry said would help ensure combat readiness in the face of China’s “frequent activities” near the island.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said it had delivered the required certification notifying Congress following State Department approval for the sale, which was requested by Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington.
It said the sale covered unclassified spare and repair parts for ships and ship systems, logistical technical assistance, and U.S. government and contractor representative technical and logistical support.
“The proposed sale will contribute to the sustainment of the recipient’s surface vessel fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats,” the agency said in a statement, adding that the parts would be sourced from “approved U.S. Navy vendors and/or U.S. Navy stock”.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Thursday the deal was expected to come into effect within one month, and expressed its thanks to Washington for its support in helping Taiwan be able to protect itself.
“In view of the recent frequent activities of Chinese warships in the sea and airspace around our country, the ship parts that the United States has agreed to sell will help maintain the proper equipment and consumption of our naval ships and meet the actual needs of combat readiness tasks,” it said.
Most of Taiwan’s main warships are U.S.-made or -designed.
The democratically governed island has complained of repeated missions by China’s air force in its air defence zone, part of what Washington sees as Beijing’s effort to pressure Taipei into accepting its sovereignty.
China’s navy has also been conducting increasingly regular missions near Taiwan.
The United States, like most countries, does not have official relations with Taiwan, but Washington is its biggest backer and is bound by law to provide it with means to defend itself.
Successive U.S. administrations have advocated the sale to Taiwan of inexpensive, mobile and survivable – or “asymmetric” – weapons that could outlast any initial assault by China’s larger military.
The U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, which counts defence contractors among its members, welcomed the latest authorization, but charged that President Joe Biden’s administration had undertaken “the most significant narrowing of U.S.-Taiwan security assistance” since 1979.
“There appears to now be little to no U.S. support for substantial Taiwan force modernization efforts, so we should expect to see mostly sustainment and munitions programs through the remainder of President Biden’s term (or terms) in office,” Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers said in a statement.
Taiwan’s military was likely to see “the loss of infrastructure, hollowing out of operational experience, and the loss of decades of expertise,” as a result, he said.
Chelsea Get Major Boost To Sign Dembele As Barcelona Reduces Offer
Chelsea Get Major Boost To Sign Dembele As Barcelona Reduces Offer.
Chelsea has received a major boost to sign Ousmane Dembele from FC Barcelona. This is after the club drastically reduced the offer they initially made to the France international whose contract expires in 2 days. The player is now set to make a final decision between joining Chelsea or staying at Camp Nou.
The player’s agent, Moussa Sissoko, held talks with Barcelona on Monday but the Catalan side have made its clear that nothing will be added to the contract offer they have on the table for him.
L’Equipe reports that Dembele has been offered a contract worth €6 million (£5.1m) a year, which is a drastic reduction on his current deal worth €11m (£9.5m) a year.
The report has it that Dembele is now seriously considering a rival offer from Chelsea.
The Blues want to make the French star one of their first marquee signings this transfer window following the club’s change in ownership.
Thomas Tuchel is also said to have remained a huge fan of Dembele having already managed the French winger during their time together at Borussia Dortmund.
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