Key Republicans want more routine Taiwan arms sales

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Key U.S. Republican lawmakers said on Wednesday they were pleased the Obama administration had authorized a $1.83 billion arms sale to Taiwan, but called for a more regular process for such transactions.

Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called for a “more regularized process” for considering requests for arms sales to Taipei “to avoid extended periods in which a fear of upsetting the U.S.-China relationship may harm Taiwan’s defense capabilities.”

“We should handle arms transfers to Taiwan just as we would for any other close security partner,” said Representative Ed Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Royce pushed through legislation that passed a year ago authorizing the sale of two frigates included in Wednesday’s announcement.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Susan Heavey