US to sell munitions for F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan

The United States has approved arms sales totaling 619 million dollars to Taiwan, including missiles to be used for F-16 fighter jets.

The US State Department said in a statement on Wednesday that it had approved the sales of the missiles as well as equipment to support them. The Department said it had notified Congress of the move.

The department statement says, "The proposed sale will contribute to the recipient's capability to provide for the defense of its airspace, regional security, and interoperability with the United States."

Taiwan's defense ministry expressed gratitude for the US decision to approve the sales.

The ministry said the missiles would help to "effectively defend the airspace to deal with threats and provocations from the Communist military" and would bolster defense stockpiles.

The move follows the US approval last December of arms sales to Taiwan worth 428 million dollars, including replacement parts for Taiwan's fleet of F-16 fighters and C-130 transport planes.

China has been stepping up military pressure on Taiwan by conducting air drills near the region. The United States has been demonstrating its resolve to help Taiwan bolster its defense capability through arms sales.