The Taiwanese government said has sets aside $176 million to buy two Oliver Hazard Perry as part of a potential four ship deal, Defense Minister David Lo said on Tuesday.
“We have the budget approved to purchase two of the frigates,” Lo said, reported news wire Reuters.
“We hope the U.S. will not be influenced by threats from China.”
China has long objected to U.S. — or any foreigners — selling arms to the island nation which China views as a part of its territory and has vocally condemned any defense trade with Taiwan.
“China firmly opposes foreign arms sale to Taiwan and any form of military technology exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and foreign countries. This position is clear-cut and consistent,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in November following an announcement on a separate sale of mine countermeasure ships to Taiwan.
“We ask relevant countries to respect China’s core interests, adhere to the one-China principle, neither sell arms to Taiwan in any form nor assist Taiwan in developing its military equipment, and take concrete actions to support the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and peaceful reunification of China.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate approved a sale of up to four of the 3,000-ton Perry-class frigates to Taiwan, acting on a 2012 request from the country.
By next year, the U.S. Navy expects to retire the last of its Perry frigates and has labeled most of the retiring ships eligible for foreign military sales.
The ships would join eight Taiwanese built Perrys that first entered service in 1993 and would replace four U.S. built Kidd-class guided missile destroyer that joined the Taiwanese fleet in the early 2000s.
A $6 billion U.S. arms sale to Taiwan in 2010 broke off military-to-miltary relations between the U.S. and China.