China has warned the United States of “terrible consequences” after the second sale of multi-billion dollar worth of weapons to Taiwan within a week.
The latest round of planned arms purchases is estimated at $2.37 billion, according to the Defense Cooperation Agency of the Department of Defense.
Under the terms of the law on relations with Taiwan, the self-governing democratic island is to receive 100 harpoon coastal defense systems and up to 400 ground missiles capable of crossing the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait.
This is the second arms deal with Taipei within a week of the announcement of SLAM-ER missile sales, estimated at over $1 billion.
No doubt’ that China is building its military to attack Taiwan, the minister says
Ren Guoqiang, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense, said at a press conference on Tuesday that the U.S. must stop selling arms to Taiwan, risking peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Almost verbatim, the almost word-for-word statement reflected the remarks of a State Department spokesman on Monday when China announced sanctions against U.S. defense companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense and Raytheon for their involvement in the arms deals.
Ren called the U.S. government’s repeated sanctioning of arms sales to Taiwan a “serious violation of the One China Principle and the Three Communiqués between China and the United States,” which are the basis for Washington and Beijing’s understanding of Taiwan’s political status.
“U.S. arms sales to Taiwan seriously interfere in China’s internal affairs and undermine China’s national sovereignty and security interests,” Ren said.
He urged the U.S. to stop further arms sales to Taiwan, adding: “China urges the U.S. to treat Taiwan-related issues with caution to avoid terrible consequences for inter-state relations and China-US military relations.
The People’s Liberation Army has the “determination, self-confidence and ability” to defeat foreign interference of any kind and any attempt at “Taiwan’s independence” separatism, Ren said.
Tensions in the Taiwan Strait are at their highest level since the 1990s, with President Tsai Ing-wen apparently relying on the Trump administration to counteract further Beijing aggression.
In a recent interview, Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu said he had “no doubt” that China was building its military to target Taiwan.
Taipei and Beijing have held their own firing exercises in and around the Taiwan Strait, and Chinese aircraft have been flying into Taiwan-controlled airspace in record numbers since September.