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US to sell Taiwan two frigates: Report

The US will arm Taiwan with two frigates to help the island boost its defence capabilities against China, according to reports on Thursday.



Taipei: The US will arm Taiwan with two
frigates to help the island boost its defence capabilities
against China, according to reports on Thursday.

The US government has notified Taiwan of the sale at a
price of 40 million US dollars of two Perry-class frigates
about to be retired from the US Navy, Taipei`s Apple Daily
said, citing a defence ministry source.

Taiwan`s navy said it had not yet received information
about the reported frigate sale.

"Taiwan`s navy already operates a fleet of eight such
frigates, but it has launched a five-year buildup beginning
from 2008," naval spokesman Hsia Yu-teh told a news agency.

Taiwanese media have said the planned buildup includes
eight conventional submarines, as well as an undisclosed
number of frigates and guided-missile patrol boats.

Tensions across the Taiwan Strait have eased
significantly since President Ma Ying-jeou of the
China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008,
pledging to boost trade links and allow in more Chinese
tourists.

But Beijing still refuses to rule out the use of force
against Taiwan should it declare formal independence,
prompting the island to seek more defensive weapons.
The island has governed itself since it split from the
mainland in 1949 at the end of a civil war.

China has reportedly increased its missiles aimed at
Taiwan from 300 in 2001 to 1,400 in 2008.

Washington announced in January a weapons package for
Taiwan that includes Patriot missiles, Black Hawk helicopters,
and equipment for Taiwan`s F-16 fighter jets, but no
submarines or new fighter aircraft.

PTI

From Zee News

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