China vows sanctions on United States firms over Taiwan arms sale

Tsai speaking to media in New York

Tsai speaking to media in New York

As President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) transited in New York City on her way to the Caribbean Friday (July 12), China announced it was going to impose sanctions on the USA firms supplying arms to Taiwan.

The announcement came after Washington approved possible sales of US$2.2 billion in tanks, missiles and related equipment. They were requested by Taiwan earlier in 2019 in order to bolster its defences - "in the face of pressure" from China.

"US arms sales to Taiwan constitute a serious violation of global law and the basic norms governing worldwide relations", said China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers reporter's questions during a Reuters interview in Munich, Germany, February 12, 2016.

During a visit to Hungary, Wang said that no foreign force could stop the reunification of China and no foreign force should try to intervene.

"We urge the USA to fully recognise the gravity of the Taiwan question ..."

The US is the main arms supplier to self-ruled Taiwan, which China deems a wayward province.

Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

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Even though Taiwan, which split from China following a civil war in 1949, doesn't have diplomatic ties with the US, Washington provides Taipei with military and other support.

Speaking at Taipei's main global airport at Taoyuan, Ms Tsai said she would share the values of freedom and transparency with Taiwan's allies, and she was looking forward to finding more worldwide space for Taiwan.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also said Friday during a visit to Hungary that his country has "grave concern" about Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's stops in the US ahead and after state visits to the Caribbean.

"As an internal affair of China, the Taiwan issue concerns China's core interests and the national feeling of the Chinese people, and forbids external interference", he stressed.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in the United States Thursday, warning that democracy in her homeland faced renewed threats from "overseas forces", in comments seemingly aimed at China.

Douglas Paal, who served as U.S. representative to Taiwan from 2002 to 2006, said Tsai's extended stopovers showed USA approval for the "caution and restraint" she had shown in her dealings with Beijing.

"Taiwan will not give in to intimidation", she said, referring to China's efforts to suppress Taiwan.

While its relations with Taiwan are technically unofficial, the United States government is required by law to assist Taiwan in its defense and is its main supplier of arms. But our "one China" policy remains the same.

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