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US to speed up arms sales to its allies to counter China: Report

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

US to speed up arms sales to its allies to counter China: Report
The truck-based rocket launcher, also known as High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), is made by the US arms dealer Lockheed Martin [File: Francis Malasig/EPA]


Washington: With an aim to outcompete China, the US will speed up its arms sales to allies and partners.

The US will expedite arms sales to allies and partners by removing several bureaucratic road bumps that could cause delays in order to better compete with countries such as China, reported Wall Street Journal.

The report said on Friday that the Defence Department launched an initiative to streamline US arms sales to foreign countries, especially to allies and partners that have provided military equipment to Ukraine.

The US promised European allies who have provided military equipment to Ukraine that it would be able to replenish their stocks, but the US defence industry is facing a backlog, reported Wall Street Journal.

The US could speed up arms sales by having US defence officials help countries draft initial requests for military equipment that would help avoid delays caused by requests that trigger security concerns, the report said.

The Defence Department only approves contracts once a year for certain military equipment, which means countries that fail to submit their orders by the Defence Department’s deadline must wait until the following year, the report added.

However, the State Department is currently consulting with the Defence Department on this matter in light of the mission to speed up arms sales to allies, according to the report.

The proposed sales come amid increased tension between Washington and Beijing over a contentious trip to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan this month triggered a new round of tensions in the region. Ever since the visit of the US delegation, Beijing launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island, which included live-fire drills and military aircraft overflights close to Taiwan’s airspace.

Meanwhile, two United States Navy warships entered the Taiwan Strait in the first such transit since China staged unprecedented military drills around the island.

On Sunday, the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville were making their voyage “through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with the international law,” the US 7th Fleet in Japan said in a statement as quoted in CNN.

A 110-mile strait is a stretch of water that separates the democratic self-ruled island of Taiwan from mainland China.

Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan despite China’s ruling Communist Party never having controlled the island — and considers the strait part of its “internal waters.”

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