The US government is pushing Taiwan to rearm against China. Just a few days ago, Washington approved the export of missiles to the island nation. Now the Chinese Foreign Ministry is reacting.
China has announced sanctions against several US arms manufacturers for selling US armaments to Taiwan. The US must stop arms sales to Taiwan, a State Department spokesman said in Beijing on Monday. Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, Raytheon and other US companies had sold weapons worth the equivalent of 1.5 billion euros to Taiwan.
According to the ministry, the sanctions were adopted “to protect national interests”. If necessary, China will take further action, the spokesman said. He did not give any details. Lockhead Martin had punished Beijing in the past for delivering weapons to Taiwan.
USA delivers missiles to Taiwan
The US government had approved the sale of 135 air-to-surface missiles to Taiwan in the past few days. These would help Taipei “to meet current and future threats,” said the State Department in Washington. Eleven mobile light rocket launchers and six aerial reconnaissance systems were also supplied.
China continues to view Taiwan, which broke away from China in 1949, as a breakaway province to be reunited with the mainland – if necessary by force. Beijing has increased diplomatic, economic and military pressure on Taiwan since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016.
USA urges Taiwan to rearm against China
While Taiwan had resorted to an implicit security guarantee from the US for decades, Washington recently pushed Taipei to develop its own defense capabilities. The Taiwan question had recently repeatedly put strain on the relationship between China and the USA. Beijing saw it as a provocation that two high-ranking US government officials traveled to Taiwan one after the other.
Relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated significantly in the past few months. The issues at stake include dealing with the corona pandemic, trade relations, Chinese interference with the autonomous rights of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.