The United States is the main arms supplier to Taiwan.
China’s foreign ministry called on the United States Tuesday to withdraw a potential US$2.2 billion arms sales to Taiwan, saying it strongly opposes the action.
Speaking in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said U.S. arms sales to Taiwan were a serious violation of international law and a “crude interference in China’s internal affairs, harming China’s sovereignty and security interests.”
“China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to this and has already made stern representations to the US side,” Geng told a daily news briefing.
“Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory and 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.”
China urged the United States to immediately revoke the planned arms sale and end all contacts between the U.S. and Taiwan militaries to avoid further damage to Sino-U.S. ties and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, he added.
On Monday, the U.S. State Department said it had approved the possible sale to Taiwan of M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment at an estimated value of US$2.2 billion, despite Chinese criticism of the deal.
The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency affirmed in a statement the sale of the weapons requested by Taiwan, including 108 General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, would not alter the basic military balance in the region.
However, the U.S. government had not hidden their intentions last month as it is fighting a bitter trade war with China.
DSCA notified Congress on Monday of the possible arms sale, which it said could also include mounted machine guns, ammunition, Hercules armored vehicles for recovering inoperative tanks, heavy equipment transporters and related support.