China to impose sanctions on US corporations in Taiwan arms sale | THE DAILY TRIBUNE

China yesterday said it would impose sanctions on US companies involved in a potential $ 2.2 billion arms sale to self-governing Taiwan – a move that has enraged Beijing. “The US arms sale to Taiwan has seriously violated the basic norms of international law and relations,” Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in an online statement.

“In order to safeguard national interests, China will impose sanctions on US companies involved in this arms sales to Taiwan,” he said. The planned arms sale, the first transfer of US military equipment to democratically ruled Taiwan in decades, is due to the fact that relations between Washington and Beijing are already strained by their trade war.

China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to seize it one day, if necessary by force. It is teeming with any country that could lend diplomatic support or legitimacy to Taiwan. Earlier this week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Beijing had filed formal complaints through diplomatic channels about the potential arms sales, which include battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles.

China on Tuesday also demanded that the US “immediately cancel” the potential $ 2.2 billion arms sale. The US later shook off China’s grievances, responding that the equipment would contribute to “peace and stability” in Asia.

‘Playing with Fire’

With the US currently in a trade war with China, Taipei-Washington relations have warmed significantly. And although Washington shifted diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, it has remained Taiwan’s most powerful unofficial ally and largest arms supplier. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned Washington during a visit to Hungary yesterday not to “play with fire on the Taiwan issue”.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ingwen is spending two days in the US this week before visiting diplomatic allies in the Caribbean. The decision to let Tsai pass by the US sparked anger in Beijing, which has expressed “firm” opposition to the official Washington-Taipei exchanges. Separately, State Department spokesman Geng said in a press conference on Friday that the US should not provide a platform for “Taiwan independence separatist forces”.

“We urge the US not to let Tsai Ing-wen through its territory,” said Geng. Following her US trip, Tsai will visit Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, and St. Christopher and Nevis to bolster support for Taiwan. China has poached five of Taipei’s dwindling allies since Tsai became president in 2016.

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