HONG KONG – Over the weekend, China threatened to take countermeasures after the Biden administration approved more than $1.1 billion worth of arms sales to Taiwan.
A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington said the sale of military equipment to Taiwan, designed to repel a maritime invasion from China, would “seriously jeopardize relations”. China-US as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
In a series of messages posted to Twitter on Saturday, spokesman Liu Pengyu, also called on the United States to “immediately withdraw” its decision to approve the arms sales, announced Friday after the government Biden formally notified Congress. It still needs to be approved by Congress, which is considered possible.
Drew Thompson, a senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore, said the deal was the biggest for Taiwan under the Biden administration. Although some sales, including under the Trump administration, were larger, this reinforces that Taiwan wants a “greater war stockpile supply before a conflict.” .
Thompson, who worked at the Pentagon, said the Chinese embassy’s statement was consistent with past responses to arms deals and “maybe even more cautious than statements of the past.” previously called for sanctions on companies that supply weapons.”
Read more about Relations between Asia and the United States
China claims Taiwan, a self-governing democratic state, as its own and accuses the United States of meddling in its internal affairs even though the ruling Communist Party has never controlled the island.
The US State Department said the sale was part of a longstanding US policy of supplying arms to Taiwan. But the move comes as tensions in the Taiwan Strait have reached their highest levels in decades and US-China relations are fractured over a range of economic and political issues.
The United States has maintained the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods, even if President Biden considers recalling some. And American officials boycotted the Beijing Winter Olympics in February to protest China’s human rights abuses, including a crackdown in the Xinjiang region that the United States called an act of violence. genocide.
One visit Taiwan last month by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most prominent official to visit in more than two decades, exacerbating tensions. In response, China has launched large-scale military exercises to intimidate Taiwan and demonstrate to the US its military capabilities. So is Beijing high-level talks canceled or suspended with the United States on a range of issues, including climate change and military cooperation.
Last week, the US Navy speak that two of its warships passed through the Taiwan Strait as part of a “regular transit through the Taiwan Strait”. China’s military acknowledged the passage of the two ships and said its force was “always on high alert, ready to prevent any provocation”.
The United States has quietly push for Taiwan to buy weapons that could help its small army fend off invasion from China, a campaign that has become imperative since Russia Invades Ukraine in February. Washington is increasingly wary that an emboldened China could invade Taiwan in the coming years.
Beijing has tried to cut ties with Taiwan on the international stage, saying Ms. Pelosi’s visit in August violated the status quo with which the United States has no formal relations with Taiwan. After her visit, three additional groups of American officials visited island as well as a delegation of Japanese legislators.
Liu, China’s spokesman, called on Washington to “respect its commitments to the one-China principle” and affirmed Beijing’s line that Taiwan is “an inviolable part of China’s territory”. offense”.
Taiwan said on Saturday that it “very welcomes” the arms sale and says the military equipment is needed to bolster its defenses. The country’s defense ministry said it detected People’s Liberation Army aircraft and naval ships in the area again on Saturday. Recent Chinese exercises have implemented a blockade of the island, a strategy that could cut off fuel and food supplies while signaling Beijing’s military might.