Jul 8, 2019 - World

State Department approves $2.2 billion Taiwan arms sale plan

A U.S. M1A2 SEP Abrams battle tank fires live rounds during the United States and South Korean Joint live fire Exercise at Rodriguez Range on September 1, 2011.

A U.S. M1A2 SEP Abrams battle tank. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Congress has been notified that the State Department has approved a potential $2.2 billion sale of M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment to Taiwan, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: Reuters notes China’s Foreign Ministry urged the U.S. last month when the move was first reported to halt such sales to avoid harming bilateral ties. China regards the self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province. It's become a flashpoint in the U.S.-China relationship. The announcement comes as trade tensions between the 2 countries have been ratcheting down.

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