New arms sales ‘tantamount to accelerating transformation of Taiwan into powder keg,’ says Beijing
China slammed new US arms sales to Taiwan, saying it has lodged protest with Washington.
Tan Kefei, spokesman for China’s Defense Ministry, said in a statement: “China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan, and has lodged stern representations with the US.”
Beijing’s sharp reaction came after the US State Department approved two separate potential sales of arms and logistics support for around $440 million to the island nation last week.
“The United States ignores China’s core concerns, grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs, and deliberately escalates tensions across the Taiwan Strait,” said Tan.
The arms sales are “tantamount to accelerating the transformation” of Taiwan, which China considers its breakaway province, “into a powder keg and pushing the Taiwanese people into the abyss of disaster,” Tan added.
Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949.
Urging Washington to abide by the “one China” principle and the provisions of the three Sino-US joint communiques, Tan said the US should “immediately stop selling arms to Taiwan, stop any form of US-Taiwan military collusion, earnestly fulfill its commitment not to support Taiwan independence.”
The spokesman added: “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has always maintained a high level of alert, resolutely defended national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely maintained peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”