China angered by US arms sales to Taiwan

By On September 25, 2018

China angered by US arms sales to Taiwan

A new batch of arms sales to Taiwan thrilled congressional China hawks and drew an angry response from diplomats in Beijing Tuesday, amid broader tensions between United States and the Communist power.

“I am glad to see the Trump administration conducting regular arms sales to our Taiwanese allies,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in response to news of the sale.

Trump’s team approved the $330 million sale just days after imposing sanctions on a Chinese military entity which arranged the purchase of Russian fighter jets and anti-aircraft defense systems, in violation of U.S. sanctions on the Russian defense industry. The decision provoked a “stern” rebuke from China, which regards Taiwan as a breakaway province currently led by “separatist” forces.

“The US arms sales to Taiwan severely violates the international law,” For eign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during Tuesday’s press briefing, according to the official transcript. “It must be stressed that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China's territory. No one can shake the strong will and determination of the Chinese government and people in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity and opposing foreign interference.”

Taiwan is the last bastion of the nationalist government that was overthrown during the Chinese Communist revolution. The U.S. has maintained an unofficial relationship with the Taipei government for decades â€" refusing to recognize the island government, as part of a Cold War-era play to undermine Soviet-Chinese relations, while periodically supplying Taiwan with military armaments to defend against a forcible reunification with mainland China.

“These sales advance American national security both by empowering our allies to defend themselves and by visibly demo nstrating that America stands with our friends,” Cruz said.

The sale is taking place against the backdrop of a Chinese diplomatic offensive against Taiwan, as Beijing has succeeded in convincing multiple Latin American partners of Taiwan to cut ties with Taipei in favor of diplomatic and economic ties with China.

“The Chinese side urges the US side to . . . immediately cancel the above-mentioned plan on arms sales to Taiwan and stop its military links with Taiwan lest it should cause more harm to China-US ties and the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Geng said.

Some U.S. officials worry that those new relationships will give China’s navy access to key ports in the Western Hemisphere, a concern perhaps corroborated by the arrival of a Chinese hospital ship in Venezuela this week. In parallel, Chinese officials refused on Tuesday to grant permission for a U.S. Navy ship to dock in Hong Kong next month; the city has been largely autonomous ever since the United Kingdom relinquished sovereignty in 1997, on the condition that Hong Kong would be free to continue as a capitalist society.

“The Chinese government did not approve a request for a port visit to Hong Kong by the USS Wasp,” the U.S. consulate in China told the South China Morning Post. “We have a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect that to continue.”

A Chinese expert in international relations linked the rejection of the Wasp to the Taiwan sale and the recent sanctions. “[The expert] said nationalistic voices would grow resentful if Beijing did not take tough action against the US,” according to SCMP.

But Cruz rejected Chinese protests about the U.S.-Taiwan relations. “We should be constantly looking for ways to deepen cooperation,” he said.

Source: Google News Taiwan | Netizen 24 Taiwan

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