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US Announces $6.5 Billion Arms Sale to Taiwan  


The U.S. government has announced new advanced arms sales to Taiwan worth about $6.5 billion.

The Defense Department on Friday gave details of the proposed sales to U.S. lawmakers, who have 30 days to block the separate arms deals.

The Pentagon's Defense Security and Cooperation Agency said the sales are aimed at improving Taiwan's security and maintaining the military balance in the region.

The proposed sales include 330 Patriot missiles worth up to $3.1 billion, and 30 Apache attack helicopters valued at $2.5 billion.

The Pentagon also requested sales of submarine-launched missiles, anti-tank missiles, and aircraft upgrades and spare parts.

The sales would cover much of a $12-billion package approved by the Bush administration in 2001. That package was held up by debate in Taiwan's legislature.

The sales are likely to face criticism from China. Beijing opposes any sale or transfer of weapons to the island, which it claims as part of its territory.

China and Taiwan split in 1949 during a civil war, and Beijing has threatened to use military force if Taipei formally declares independence.

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