Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday that the island faces military threats on a daily basis from “authoritarian forces”.

On Monday, the US government notified Congress of a new $280 million arms sale package to Taiwan, the sixth this year. China expressed anger at the weapons sale and said it would take “necessary countermeasures”.

Taiwan and the US do not have official diplomatic ties, but Washington is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself, angering China which refuses to acknowledge the sovereignty of the island and routinely denounces US arms sales to Taiwan.

“Authoritarian forces consistently attempt to violate the existing norms-based order. Taiwan has been at the receiving end of such military threats on a daily basis”, Tsai said during a security forum in Taipei, where she also spoke of the “increasingly militarised” South China Sea, which China claims large parts of.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said the latest sale demonstrated that the US commitment to bolstering the island’s defence capabilities remained unchanged and expressed its gratitude.

“Taiwan and the United States will continue to consolidate their security partnership to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”, the ministry said.


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