The US State Department has proposed potential arms sale worth US$ 2.2 billion to Taiwan. The first package of arms would include 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, M2 Chrysler Mount machine guns, M240 machine guns, M88A2 HERCULES vehicles and M1070A1 Heavy Equipment Transporters. This package is reportedly valued at an estimated US$ 2 billion. The second package would include 250 Block I -92F MANPAD Stinger missiles and four I-92F MANPAD Stinger missiles – valued at an estimated US$ 223.56 million.
The Trump administration also plans to sell 60 new F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. Taiwan had submitted a request for 66 ‘Block 70’ F-16 jets, the newest version of Lockheed Martin’s legacy fighter. This would be its first set of advanced fighter jets purchase since 1992, if the deal is approved.
Earlier under President Trump, the US went ahead with a $1.42 billion arms sale involving missiles and torpedoes in June 2017. This was followed by a sale of US$ 330 million worth of spare parts for warplanes upgradation and a $500 million package involving pilots training in September 2018.
China’s foreign ministry has called the US to immediately cancel the proposed deal. It has blamed the US for interfering in China’s internal affairs. It believes that such action would undermine its sovereignty and security interests.
“Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. No one should underestimate the Chinese government and people’s will and resolve to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity against foreign interference. We urge the US to stay committed to the one-China principle and the three joint communiques, cancel this arms sale immediately and stop military ties with Taiwan to prevent further damage to China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” said Geng Shuang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
The PLA Daily has hit-out hard at the US. It has asked the US to uphold the principles of diplomacy on its 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.
“The One-China Principle is an acknowledged norm of international relations and a consensus in the international community, as well as the political foundation for China-US relationship. The US also committed in the China-US Joint Communiqué (August 17, 1982) to gradually reducing and eventually terminating arms sales to Taiwan,” reports PLA Daily.
China has repeatedly warned the US of severe consequences, if there are attempts made to stall the ‘peaceful unification’ of Taiwan and China. In its recent move, it has also decided to impose sanctions on the US companies involved in the arms sales with Taiwan, informed Geng Shuang, spokesperson of Chinese foreign ministry.
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