Saudi Arabia, which leads a military intervention in Yemen that has cost hundreds of civilian lives, was the world's second largest importer after India, increasing its intake by 212 per cent, mainly from the US and Britain.
Beijing: The nature of US arms sales to Taiwan is “as evil as ever”, said a state-run Chinese daily on Friday.
An editorial “US arms sale to disrupt cross-Straits peace” said that Washington announced a $1.83 billion arms sale that includes two Perry-class frigates to Taiwan on Thursday.
China’s foreign ministry responded with strong protests while bringing up the prospect of future sanctions against companies involved in the weapons deal.
The daily said: “This is the first major US arms sale to the island since 2011. Although the scale of this deal is smaller than previous ones, its nature is as evil as ever.”
“The Chinese mainland’s military power has long since gained overwhelming advantage against Taiwan. No matter how many weapons the US sells to it, the mismatched power structure across the Taiwan Straits won’t be changed,” it added.
The editorial said that perry-class frigates have already been retired from the US Navy. “Instead of saying that this is merely an arms sale, it might be more precise to say that Taiwan is paying tribute to the US as well as begging for a protection commitment from Washington.”
The daily added that the US, on the one hand, is making a profit from Taiwan. “On the other, it is encouraging the island to keep its mentality of using military muscle to safeguard its peace, strengthen the military confrontation across the Straits through arms sales, and suppressing the advocacy of maintaining peace through cross-Straits dialogue. The US is setting the scene of Chinese fighting against Chinese.”
It went on to say that “given the mainland’s steadily growing military power, once the US gets involved in a conflict in the Taiwan Straits, it will face increasing costs and consequences”.
“The US is far away from Taiwan, but it wants to retain the island as a pawn in its strategy against China. For Taiwan, turning its back against the mainland, an economic and military giant, means huge strategic risks.”
The daily warned: “China will never allow Washington to stir up trouble in the peaceful development across the Straits by constant arms sales.”