Trump Administration Approves $2.4 Billion Harpoon Missile Sale to Taiwan

China sanctions Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon for sales approved by the administration last week

On Monday, the State Department notified Congress of its approval of a $2.4 billion sale of land-based anti-ship missiles to Taiwan, a move sure to anger Beijing. The news comes just a week after the Trump administration approved the sale of three weapons systems to Taipei worth $1.8 billion.

The sale is for 100 Boeing-made Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems, which include 400 missiles. The missiles can be placed on fixed systems or fired from trucks and have a range of up to 75 miles.

Also on Monday, China announced its intention to sanction US weapon makers Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing as retaliation for the weapons approved by the US last week. In July, China sanctioned Lockheed Martin for other weapons sales to Taiwan.

It’s not clear what effect the sanctions will have on the US firms, but it is a sign of China’s growing frustration with Taiwan’s warming ties with Washington. Since the US severed diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979, US arms sales to Taipei have continued to deter Beijing from invading the island.

The weapons approved by the Trump administration last week include missiles that are capable of reaching mainland China’s coast, the first meaningful offensive weapons sold to Taiwan in over four decades.

The Trump administration has taken other steps to increase ties with Taiwan, including high-level visits to the island from US officials. The region has seen an uptick in US military activity. Last week, the US flew a spy plane directly over the island of Taiwan, a rare, provocative maneuver likely meant to send a message to Beijing.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.