China warned the US that it would impose sanctions on companies that are involved in a $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan.
The possible sanctions were announced by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on July 12th.
“Q: The US recently announced its plan to sell $2.22 billion worth of arms to Taiwan. It is said that China will impose sanctions on relevant US enterprises. Can you confirm that?
A: The US arms sales to Taiwan constitute a serious violation of international law and the basic norms governing international relations. This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiques. It also undermines China’s sovereignty and national security. To safeguard our national interests, China will impose sanctions on the US enterprises involved in the above-mentioned arms sales to Taiwan.”
In remarks on the same day, Geng Shuang once more reiterated that it doesn’t specifically recognize Taiwan as an independent region, saying that Tsai Ing-wen is not the Taiwanese “president,” but rather the leader of the Taiwan region. Tsai Ing-wen went on a two-day visit to the US.
“Regarding the “transit” of the leader of the Taiwan region in the US, we have made clear our solemn position. Here I’d like to emphasize this again. China opposes official exchange between the US and Taiwan. This position is firm and clear. We have made stern representations to the US side.
We urge the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiques, not allow Tsai Ing-wen’s transit and stop the official exchange with Taiwan. It must no longer provide any platform for the separatists to advocate “Taiwan Independence”. It needs to deal with Taiwan-related issues properly and with caution to avoid damaging China-US relationship and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.
As we stated, China’s position on US arms sales to Taiwan is also stern. We urge the US to cancel the arms sales immediately and cut its military ties with Taiwan,” Geng Shuang said.
Also on July 12th, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the US should stop “playing with fire” during a visit to Bucharest.
“We urge the US to fully recognise the gravity of the Taiwan question … [and] not to play with fire on the question of Taiwan,” he said.
Beijing last used the threat of sanctions to punish US firms in 2015, after Washington approved a US$1.83 billion arms deal with Taiwan, saying that its determination to protect its territorial integrity was unshakeable.
During her visit to the US, Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen spoke in New York on July 11th. At a reception at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office – the first of its kind ever hosted by a Taiwanese president – Tsai said the self-ruled island would not bend to pressure from Beijing to give up its ambition of joining the United Nations.
Her remarks were criticized by the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing, whose spokesman Ma Xiaoguang accused her of using external powers to challenge the “one China” principle and threaten the stability of the Taiwan Strait.
The $2.2 billion arms sale was approved by US State Department on July 8th.
- M1A2T Abrams Tanks and Related Equipment and Support;
“This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.”
The principal contractor for the battle tanks would be General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Production will be at Anniston Army Depot, Anniston, Alabama, and the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, Lima, Ohio.
In additional, the M88A2 recovery vehicle prime contractor will be BAE, York, Pennsylvania. The M1070Al Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) prime contractor will be Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
- Stinger Missiles and Related Equipment and Support;
“The recipient intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its existing air defense architecture to counter threats. This will contribute to the recipient military’s goal to update its capability while further enhancing greater interoperability between the recipient, the U.S., and other partners. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.”
The principal contractors will be Raytheon Missile Systems.
It is unclear if China would sanction all of these companies or just some of them.
On July 13th, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry defended the purchase of the US arms.
US weapons help strengthen Taiwan’s self-defense in the face of a growing military threat from China, the defense ministry said.
“The national army will continue to strengthen its key defense forces, ensure national security, protect its homeland and ensure that the fruits of freedom and democracy won’t be attacked,” the statement said.
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