Beijing has threatened to retaliate over US arms sales to Taiwan, saying the advanced weapons it is supplying are a serious risk to its security.
The foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it would react in a “legitimate and necessary” way to three deals that the White House has sent to Congress for approval.
“The United States should immediately cancel the planned weapon sales to Taiwan, stop any arms deals and cut off their military ties,” ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.
Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.
In July China said it would impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin for its role in a US$620 million deal to upgrade Taiwan’s Patriot surface-to-air missiles system.
Congress is reviewing three deals to supply the island with Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, Boeing’s SLAM-ER long-range missiles and external sensor pods for F-16 jets, according to Reuters.
The White House is also considering four other arms deals to supply combat drones, other pilotless aerial vehicles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and underwater mines.
Joanne Ou, a spokeswoman for the Taiwanese foreign ministry, said it had not been formally notified of any new arms sales.
China considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province and has never renounced the use of force to reunify it with the mainland.
In recent months it has staged a series of exercises, including a large-scale invasion drill on Saturday, and also sent warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone and carried out warship patrols around the island.
Last week US national security adviser Robert O’Brien warned against any attempt to retake Taiwan by force, saying amphibious landings were notoriously difficult and urged Taiwan to buy more US weapons, such as cruise missiles, artillery and advanced surveillance assets.
Beijing has accused Washington of violating a joint communique that limits US arms sales to Taiwan.
However, an act passed when the US switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing also requires it to help the island defend itself.
The US has also remained ambiguous about whether it would intervene militarily if the People’s Liberation Army does attack Taiwan.
More from South China Morning Post:
- China says it has foiled Taiwan spy plots and accuses suspect of backing Hong Kong protests
- Mainland China casts long shadow over Taiwan’s ‘double tenth’ celebrations
- Taiwan prepares a weapons shopping list to hand US at defence conference
- US warns China against attacking Taiwan, stressing American ‘ambiguity’
This article China threatens retaliation over US deals to supply Taiwan with arms first appeared on South China Morning Post