FILE PHOTO: Flags of Taiwan and U.S. are placed for a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Agencies): According to Agencies, the US Department of Defense has signed a contract worth $68.4 million with the Raytheon defense-industrial company for the production and delivery of 50 air-to-ground missiles to Taiwan. The work under the contract is expected to be completed in March 2028.

Taiwan has been governed independently of mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country but stops short of declaring independence.

Beijing opposes any official contacts of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable. In response to visits of high-ranking US delegations to Taiwan in 2022 and 2023, the Chinese military launched large-scale drills near the island, in what it called a warning to Taiwanese separatists and foreign powers.

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