The United States has given the go-ahead to sell 18 Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) for $180 million.
TECRO had requested to buy eighteen (18) MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology (AT) torpedoes. Also included are spare parts, support and test equipment, shipping and shipping containers, operator manuals, technical documentation, training, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support, Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement Wednesday.
In a sharp reaction, Chinese state-owned Global Times newspaper described the sale as "overpriced and cannot make any difference in a potential military conflict between the island and the Chinese mainland."
The torpedoes are capable of attacking large Chinese warships such as Type 055 destroyers and aircraft carriers.
There are no prime contractors associated with this case as all materials will be procured from U.S. Navy stocks. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
“China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan. We urge the US to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués and stop arms sales to and military ties with Taiwan, lest it should further harm China-US relations and cross-straits peace and stability,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference on Thursday.
Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times that "While the powerful US-made torpedoes could become a threat to warships of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), the Taiwan military's submarines are outdated and can easily be spotted and destroyed by the PLA, leaving them with no chance to use the torpedoes."