The U.S. Defense Department announced Friday it has requested $6.5 billion in advanced armaments for Taiwan, including 330 Patriot missiles and 30 Apache attack helicopters, the Voice of America reported. Defense officials said the sales were necessary to maintain a strategic balance in the region.
The U.S. Congress has 30 days to block the deal, as well as a separate proposal for submarine-launched missiles. Both are part of a $12 billion package approved by the Bush administration in 2001, the broadcaster said.
But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told Xinhua, the state-run Chinese news agency, that the Chinese government and people "firmly opposed this action which seriously damaged China's interests and the Sino-U.S. relations."