President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech at a government guest house in Taipei, Taiwan. File/AP
Taiwan plans to buy land-based Boeing-made Harpoon anti-ship missiles as part of its military modernisation efforts, its defence ministry said on Thursday, the latest purchase from the United States to deal with a rising threat from China.
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, which claims the democratically-ruled island as its own territory, routinely denounces US arms sales to Taiwan.
Answering questions in parliament, Deputy Defence Minister Chang Che-ping confirmed that Taiwan was planning to buy Harpoon missiles from the United States to serve as a coastal defence cruise missile.
If the United States agrees to sell the Harpoons, Taiwan should receive them in 2023, Chang added.
Taiwan has been bolstering its defences in the face of what it sees as increasingly threatening moves by Beijing, such as regular Chinese air force and naval exercises near Taiwan.
While Taiwan's military is well-trained and well-equipped with mostly U.S.-made hardware, China has huge numerical superiority and is adding advanced equipment of its own such as stealth fighters.
The U.S government last week notified Congress of a possible sale of advanced torpedoes to Taiwan worth around $180 million, further souring already tense ties between Washington and Beijing.
China has denounced the Trump administration's increased support for Taiwan. Beijing believes Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is a separatist bent on declaring the island's formal independence.
Tsai said Taiwan is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its official name.
Taiwan is not seeking to get involved in an arms race with China but does need a credible combat capability, Defence Minister Yen De-fa said on Thursday, after the United States approved a potential $1.8 billion arms sale to the Chinese-claimed island.
The US military said it sent two Navy warships through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday as the Pentagon increases the frequency of movement through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.
Taiwan’s export orders contracted for an eighth straight month in June, with global companies increasingly hesitant to make new investments in machinery as the China-US trade war wears on.
They were followed up and monitored by the security men after the first stopped on the side of the road, then the other followed him.
The Ministry stressed in a statement on Tuesday that its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.
According to the data updated by the health ministry at 8am, the active cases declined to 1,63,816. With the fresh cases, the total tally climbed to 3,42,02,202, while the death toll climbed to 4,55,068 with 356 fresh fatalities.