China has threatened to make “make legitimate and necessary” action after the United States approved the potential sale of three weapon systems to Taiwan, including missiles and artillery, that could have a total value of USD 1.8 billion.
“China urges the US side to fully recognize the very damaging nature of arms sales to Taiwan, abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiques, stop arms sales to and military ties with the Taiwan region, cancel its arms sales plans to avoid further harming China-US relations and cross-strait peace and stability. China will make a legitimate and necessary reaction in the light of the development of the situation,” said Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, during a press briefing.
The move comes at a time when tensions between China and Taiwan are heightened. The relations between China and the US have also deteriorated in recent times due to various reasons including Indo-Pacific and coronavirus pandemic. Further congressional notifications are expected to follow, including drones made by General Atomics and land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles, made by Boeing, to serve as coastal defence cruise missiles.
China has repeatedly threatened Taiwan with invasion and has adopted an aggressive policy to intimidate the self-governing island. For decades, the Chinese government has claimed authority over Taiwan. Though Taiwan is not recognised by the UN, its government maintains a relationship with the US and does not accept the Chinese authority.
The formal notification gives Congress 30 days to object to any sales but there is broad bipartisan support for the defence of Taiwan.