China has demanded that the United States“immediately cancel” a potential $2.2bn arms sale to Taiwan, including battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles. The move would be Washington’s first big-ticket military sale to the democratically-governed island in decades, and comes amid deteriorating ties between the US and China, the world’s two largest economies that have been locked in an acrimonious trade war.
It risks further heightening tensions with China, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province and has not ruled out the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.
Addressing reporters on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Beijing had lodged formal complaints through diplomatic channels expressing “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the proposed sale.
Shuang called the proposed deal a “crude interference” in Chinese internal affairs that harmed “China’s sovereignty and security interests”.
“China urges the US to … immediately cancel the planned arms sale and stop military relations with Taipei to avoid damaging Sino-US relations and harming peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” he added.
“Nobody should underestimate the Chinese government’s and people’s firm determination to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and oppose foreign interference.”