China has announced that it will impose sanctions on US companies involved in an agreement to sell $ 2.2 billion worth of tanks, missiles and related equipment to Taiwan, saying it is hurting to the sovereignty and national security of China.
The Pentagon announced on Monday that the US State Department had approved the sale of Taiwan-requested weapons, including 108 Mrama Abrams Corp Abrams Corp tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, manufactured by Raytheon.
Washington said sales would not change the basic military equilibrium in the region, but Beijing, the US 's main security rival with which Washington is engaged in a trade war lasting a full year. a year, demanded the revocation of the agreement.
China's latest statement came as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was in New York en route to visit four Caribbean allies, a trip that also irritated China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the US arms sale was "a serious violation of international law and fundamental norms governing international relations."
He also called it a serious violation of the "single China" principle, according to which the United States officially recognizes Beijing and not Taipei.
"To protect our national interests, China will impose sanctions on US companies involved in the aforementioned arms sales in Taiwan," Geng said.
The US State Department declined to comment and US companies involved in the arms deal in Taiwan did not immediately respond. The impact of China's decision was not known, as US defense contractors were prevented from dealing with Beijing since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Although its relations with Taiwan are technically unofficial, the US government is required by law to assist Taiwan in its defense and is its main supplier of arms.
China considers that Taiwan is a capricious province and has never given up the use of force to put the island under its control.
Leading Chinese diplomat Wang Yi warned that Washington should not "play with fire" on the Taiwan issue.
He added that no foreign force could prevent the reunification of China and that no foreign force should attempt to intervene.
"We urge the United States to fully recognize the gravity of the Taiwan issue … [and] do not play with fire on the Taiwan issue, "Wang said at a press conference.
Tsai was the last in the United States in March, but his transit stops this time will be exceptionally long. According to analysts, the extended stopovers, during which she will spend four nights on US soil, have underlined the support of the Trump administration at its time. has been under increasing pressure from Beijing.
The US State Department stated that the US policy of one China had not changed and that it allowed such transit stops "regardless of safety, comfort , the convenience and dignity of the passenger ".