International
0

China Protests US Arms Sales to Taiwan

China has asked the US to immediately stop the sale of arms to Taiwan.China has asked the US to immediately stop the sale of arms to Taiwan.

China on Friday strongly protested a US plan to sell $1.4 billion worth of arms to Taiwan and demanded that the deal be canceled.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the sale would severely damage China’s sovereignty and security interests and run counter to Washington’s commitment to a “one-China” policy, AP reported.

He asked the US to immediately stop the sale to avoid harming relations with Beijing.

“We stress that nobody could sway our determination to uphold our territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Lu said at a regular daily briefing. “We oppose any external interference in our internal affairs.”

The US State Department approved the arms sale on Thursday, the first such deal with Taiwan since President Donald Trump took office.

The sale was broadly welcomed in Taiwan as a show of US support, despite concerns about the strain on finances and Beijing’s angry response. Taiwan’s defense department said the sale would enhance the island’s self-defense capability.

China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has long opposed any arms sales to the self-governing island by foreign entities. It insists on eventual reunification, through force if necessary.

The US State Department’s approval of the sale — the first since December 2015— follows a tense year between China and Taiwan.

Beijing cut ties with the government of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen shortly after she took office in May last year and has been steadily ratcheting up diplomatic and economic pressure. Her ruling Democratic Progressive Party says it wants stable relations with Beijing, but hasn’t followed her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, in endorsing the “one-China” principle.

China’s hostility toward Tsai is a big concern, said Lee Chun-yi, a ruling party legislator. “Most people will support this arms sale because we need to strengthen our defense” amid strained relations between the sides, he said. The party favors a stronger Taiwanese identity.

 

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints

Financialtribune.com