In Major Provocation To China, US Approves Sale Of $2.2 Billion In Weapons To Taiwan For those wondering how to make sure that any trade “ceasefire” between the US and China falls apart faster than a trip on board the Lolita Express, here is a suggestion: today the US State Department approved the possible sale to Taiwan of M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment at an estimated value of $US2.2 billion despite vocal Chinese criticism of the deal, AAP reported. As a reminder, one month ago China’s Foreign Ministry last month said it was seriously concerned about US arms sales to self-ruled Taiwan, and urged the United States to halt the sales to avoid harming bilateral ties. The proposed sale also comes at a perilously sensitive moment: at the start of June, during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe warned the United States not to meddle in security disputes over Taiwan and the South China Sea. He also launched into a bellicose attack on opponents to China’s expansionist plans towards the South China Sea and Taiwan, declaring: “If they want to fight, we will fight till the end”. In response, acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told the meeting that the United States would no longer “tiptoe” around Chinese behavior in Asia. Confirming that, a sale of more than $2 billion in weapons to Taiwan would be seen as a provocation to China’s national interest in the region, and a clear signal that the gloves are now off when it comes to geopolitical claims, potentially resulting in a worrisome escalation of a war which has so far been confined to the sphere of trade.