China slams $2.2B U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan

By Elizabeth Shim
China slams $2.2B U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan
Taiwanese soldiers train during a confrontation drill in Hsinchu, Taiwan, in May. File Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE

July 9 (UPI) -- China is condemning a recent U.S. decision to sell $2.2 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan, saying the "reckless" policy tampers with Chinese sovereignty.

Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday at a regular press briefing China opposes U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan, a country China recognizes as a breakaway province.


"The United States has recklessly interfered in Chinese domestic affairs," Geng said. "It has undermined China's sovereignty and security interests."

The U.S. State Department on Monday approved two potential arms sales to Taiwan, worth $2.2 billion.

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The weapons to be sold to Taiwan include 108 Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger missiles and related equipment.

On Tuesday Geng reminded reporters Beijing does not recognize Taiwanese sovereignty.

"Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory," the foreign ministry spokesman said. "Do not underestimate the Chinese government and the people's will to defend national sovereignty and territory."

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Geng added the United States was in "severe violation" of Beijing's "One-China" policy.

Tensions have grown between Taiwan and China since President Tsai Ing-wen assumed office in 2016.

Tsai's recent decision to stay in the United States for four nights during a "layover" has angered China. Beijing, under its law, bans the Taiwanese leader from making contact with U.S. politicians.

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Taiwan News reported last week Tsai is expected to meet with members of Congress and think tank representatives in Washington.

Tsai had said Taiwan is determined to safeguard its democracy, freedom and sovereignty.

"We [Taiwan] are not just one side of the Taiwan Strait, we are a contributor to the region's peace and stability," Tsai had said.

The Taiwanese president's stopover in the United States will be made during a trip that begins Thursday. She is expected to visit four allies in the Caribbean.

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