Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The State Department this week approved a potential $2.37 billion sale of 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems to Taiwan.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States asked to buy 100 of the defense systems along with related equipment and technical support -- and the State Department approved the deal Monday.
Monday's announcement marks the third time this month the State Department has approved a potential sale of arms to Taiwan.
It also came the same day China said it would sanction three U.S. defense contractors over $1.8 billion in potential Taiwan arms sales approved this year.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday that Beijing would sanction Boeing's defense division, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies over weapons sales to Taiwan.
That includes two deals approved last week: a $1.008 billion potential sale of 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response, or SLAM-ER, Missiles, and a $436.1 million potential sale of 11 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems M142 Launchers, as well as a $620 million deal allowing Taiwan to upgrade its Patriot missile system.
Boeing is also listed as the primary contractor for Monday's Harpoon missile deal.
Last week a spokesman for China's defense ministry suggested that China would retaliate if the deals approved earlier in the week go through.
The DSCA said the acquisition will "help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region."
Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense shared the DSCA's announcement on Twitter Monday, adding, "We express our appreciation again to the U.S. for helping to strengthen our defense capabilities in accordance with #TaiwanRelationsAct and #SixAssurances."
Taiwan has been governed independently from China since 1949, but China's government still sees the island as part of its territory.
Since the passage of the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979, the United States has defined substantial but non-diplomatic relations with the island that include military support.