June 30 (UPI) -- Taiwan's leader welcomed news of the United States' first arms deal with the island under the Trump administration.
President Tsai Ing-wen lauded the weapons package worth nearly $1.4 billion in the face of increased tensions with Beijing after her election.
Tsai has been at odds with China after refusing to accept the mainland's "one-China" principle, the South China Morning Post reported Friday.
"The provision of these systems will help strengthen Taiwan's self-defense capabilities," Tsai said. "This increases Taiwan's confidence and ability to maintain the status quo of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."
Tsai also said the package would help Taiwan maintain close communication with the United States.
In a separate statement, Taiwan's foreign ministry stressed the deal reflected the faithful implementation of the Six Assurances, or the clarifications to the 1982 Third Communiqué between Washington and Beijing, that reassures Taiwan and the United States Congress U.S. support for Taiwan would continue even if diplomatic relations are severed between the two sides.
Taipei's defense ministry said the "package can help to maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait since the weapons will boost our air and sea power and early warning systems, strengthening our ability to defend ourselves."
Some analysts see underlying motives for the weapons sale.
Wang Kung-yi, an international relations expert at Tamkang University, said the Taiwanese government is "aware" the sale is a signal to Beijing to exert more pressure on North Korea.
Many weapons Taiwan was seeking were not included in the package, Wang said, while referring to the deal as leverage President Donald Trump seeks over China's Xi Jinping.