Thursday 18 July 2019
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The News - 5 days ago

China to impose sanctions on US firms in Taiwan arms sale

BEIJING: China on Friday said it would impose sanctions on US companies involved in a potential arms sale worth $2.2 billion to self-ruled Taiwan -- a move that has infuriated Beijing. The US arms sale to Taiwan has severely violated the basic norms of international law and international relations, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in an online statement. In order to safeguard national interests, China will impose sanctions on US enterprises participating in this sale of weapons to Taiwan, he said. The planned weapons sale, the first transfer of big-ticket United States military gear to democratically-governed Taiwan in decades, comes as ties between Washington and Beijing are already strained by their trade war.China views Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary. It bristles at any countries that might lend Taiwan diplomatic support or legitimacy. Earlier this week, the Chinese foreign ministry said Beijing had lodged formal complaints through diplomatic channels expressing strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition at the potential weapons sale, which includes battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles.China on Tuesday had also demanded that the US immediately cancel the $2.2 billion potential arms sale. The US later shrugged off China s complaints, responding that the equipment would contribute to peace and stability in Asia.Taiwan s Mainland Affairs Council said Friday that Taipei would continue our self-defence to counter the threats and challenges from Beijing. It is not the first time that Beijing has threatened sanctions following a planned US arms sale to Taiwan.In 2010, the US approved a package of Patriot missiles, Black Hawk helicopters, and other military hardware totalling $6.4 billion.The planned deal drew an angry response from Beijing, which cut off military and security contracts with Washington and threatened to impose sanctions on the firms involved in the transaction.Still, the latest move marks a significant escalation on the part of the Chinese government said Steve Tsang, a China-Taiwan relations expert at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

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