China warns of ‘countermeasures’ as US approves $1.1bn arms sale to Taiwan

Chinese embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu said on Saturday that China is “categorically opposed” to the sales, which “seriously threaten Sino-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” and urged Washington to “immediately cancel” them.

Liu’s Twitter comments come after the Biden administration formally notified Congress on Friday of the proposed sales, which include up to 60 anti-ship missiles and up to 100 air-to-air missiles.

The State Department said the sales were in line with the long-standing U.S. policy of supplying defensive weapons to the island and called the “prompt provision” of such weapons “essential to Taiwan’s security.”

However, China has accused the US of meddling in what it considers to be its internal affairs.

The Chinese Communist Party considers Taiwan, a self-governing democracy, part of its territory despite never ruling it, and has long vowed to “reunite” the island with mainland China, by force if necessary.

“The United States is interfering in China’s internal affairs and undermining China’s sovereignty and security interests by selling weapons Taiwan‘ Liu tweeted.

“This sends the wrong signal to the pro-Taiwan independence separatist forces and seriously endangers Sino-US relations, as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Liu said.

He urged the US to “comply with its one-China commitments” and ended his series of tweets by stating that Taiwan is “an integral part of Chinese territory” and warning that China will “strongly take legal and necessary countermeasures.” “

Tensions between the US and China have risen sharply since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last month.

China warned Pelosi against the trip and responded by ordering several days of military exercises around the island after her departure.

On Saturday, Taiwan said it “very welcomes” the latest arms sales and thanked the US government for “continuing to fulfill its security obligations to Taiwan.”

“In response to China’s continuous military provocations, unilateral changes in the status quo and the creation of crises, Taiwan’s resolve to defend itself is extremely strong,” Taiwan’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

“This batch of arms sales includes a large number of different types of missiles that are needed to strengthen Taiwan’s self-defense, which fully demonstrates the great importance that the US government attaches to Taiwan’s defense needs by helping our country obtain the equipment necessary for timely defense and enhance our national defense capability.”

Taiwan shoots down unidentified drone over island off China
In an incident that highlighted rising tensions, the Taiwanese military shot down a drone hovered over one of its island outposts off the coast of China on Thursday.

A day earlier, Taiwan said it had warned of drones hovering over three islands it occupies off the coast of the Chinese port city of Xiamen.

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