China to impose sanctions on U.S. firms for Taiwan arms sale

$2.2 billion deal violates international law, says Beijing
China on Friday said it would impose sanctions on U.S. companies involved in a potential arms sale worth $2.2 billion to self-ruled Taiwan — a move that has infuriated Beijing.
“The U.S. arms sale to Taiwan has severely violated the basic norms of international law and international relations,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in an online statement. “In order to safeguard national interests, China will impose sanctions on U.S. enterprises participating in this sale of weapons to Taiwan,” he said. The planned weapons sale, the first transfer of big-ticket United States military gear to democratically-governed Taiwan in decades, comes as ties between Washington and Beijing are already strained by a trade war.China views Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary. Earlier this week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Beijing had lodged formal complaints through diplomatic channels expressing “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” at the potential weapons sale, which includes battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles. China on Tuesday had also demanded that the U.S. “immediately cancel” the sale. The U.S. later shrugged off China’s complaints, responding that the equipment would contribute to “peace and stability” in Asia. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is spending two days in the U.S. this week ahead of a trip to the Caribbean. The decision to let Ms.Tsai pass through the U.S. has drawn ire from Beijing, which voiced “firm” opposition to official exchanges between Washington and Taipei. Mr. Geng told a press briefing on Friday that the U.S. should not provide a platform for “Taiwan independence separatist forces”. “We urge the U.S… to not let Tsai Ing-wen pass through its territory,” said Mr. Geng.

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