China has emphasized its continued neutrality in the U.S. elections, both candidates have moved to declare victory in a ruinous race, but Beijing warned Washington that it would be punished if it pushed through another arms sale to Taiwan, a self-governing island claimed by mainland China.
Chinese State Department spokesman Wang Wenbin on Wednesday asked for a response to an intensifying rivalry between President Donald Trump and Democratic opponent Joe Biden, which was to drag on for a second day, and told reporters: “We note that the U.S. presidential election is still ongoing and the outcome is not yet known.
He reiterated that Beijing has no preferred winner.
“The U.S. presidential elections are the internal affairs of the country,” Wang Wenbin said. “China has no comment on this.”
However, China has strong feelings about U.S. foreign policy, particularly in relation to the Trump administration’s tough measures, which have contributed to a sharp decline in relations between the world’s two leading economies. Some of these measures dealt with trade and human rights allegations, but among the most sensitive ones were geopolitical measures – probably none as severe as the extension of military aid to Taiwan.
The island is run autonomously by the successors of Chinese nationalists who lost a civil war in 1949 against the Chinese Communist Party, which is still seeking reunification today. Washington switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing three decades later, as the overwhelming majority of the international community finally did.
However, the United States continues to maintain informal relations that infuriate China, which considers diplomatic and defense relations a violation of the One China principle, which claims the existence of a single true representative of China, and the three joint communiqués from China and the United States that form the basis of its bilateral relations.
Just as the U.S. was ready to enter its split vote, the State Department announced on Tuesday that it had agreed to sell MQ-9 Reaper drones for $600 million.
Wang said on Wednesday that “the U.S. arms sales to the Taiwan region seriously violate the U.S.-China agreements” and ultimately “constitute blatant interference in China’s internal affairs, seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, send the wrong signals to the separatist forces of ‘Taiwanese independence’ and seriously undermine China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Referring to previous positions, he said: “China firmly rejects such actions.
Wang then repeated earlier warnings, which have led to consequences for relations between Washington and Beijing.
“China urges the United States to adhere to the One China principle and the three joint communiqués from China and the United States, stop arms sales to the Taiwan region and military relations with the region, and immediately reverse its arms sales plan to avoid further damage to China-US relations and peace and stability across the Strait,” Wang said. “China will take legitimate and necessary responses to firmly protect national sovereignty and security interests,” Wang said.
Last week, the Chinese State Department announced sanctions against U.S. companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin after a deal worth more than a billion dollars was closed for equipment such as the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, SLAM-ER ground-to-air cruise missiles and external sensor capsules for F-16 fighter aircraft.
The State Department then approved the $2.4 billion sale of 100 harpoon coastal defense systems to Taiwan, which further exacerbated tensions.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army also made a statement. In response to the news of the MQ-9 Reaper drones, the Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Wu Qian, urged the United States to reconsider its approach, as the Taiwan issue “touches China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as China’s core interests.
“No foreign interference is allowed,” Wu Qian said. “Any attempt to restrain China with the Taiwan issue or to refuse reunification by force is a dead end.
For this, the US would have to recalibrate its strategy.
“China is urging the US side to rethink the extremely dangerous nature of selling arms to Taiwan