The State Department said Friday it has approved the sale of $108 million worth of spare and repair parts for tanks and other assistance to Taiwan, the latest U.S. move in support of the self-ruled democratic island that is facing pressure from China.

The sale will contribute to the "sustainment of the recipient's vehicles, small arms, combat weapon systems and logistical support items, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats," an agency under the Defense Department said in a press release.

The equipment is provided at the request of Taiwan's de facto embassy in the United States.

The planned sale will also contribute to Taipei's goal of maintaining its military capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies, the press release said.

Taiwan and mainland China have been separately governed since they split due to a civil war in 1949. China regards the democratic island as a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

The United States switched its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing in 1979. Washington, however, remains committed to unofficial relations with Taipei while continuing to assist the island in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability.