China Warns Biden Over New Taiwan Arms Sale To “Inalienable Chinese Territory”
As expected Beijing has responded by warning Washington over Thursday’s announced next round of arms sales to Taiwan, which marks the first of the Biden administration, and is to include 40 self-propelled howitzers and 1,700 kits designed to convert projectiles into more precise GPS-guided munitions.
The Chinese embassy slammed the US for “interfering in its internal affairs” and “sending wrong signals” towards an “inalienable part of the Chinese territory.” The statement further said that Biden’s new arms sale “severely jeopardizes China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait” while also violating the One China policy.
“China will resolutely take legitimate and necessary counter-measures in light of the development of the situation,” the embassy statement warned without elaborating further.
The contract by BAE Systems must first pass through congressional review, which is expected, and while it’s not a large number for a foreign country weapons systems sale at an estimated $750 million, the symbolism is huge nonetheless – signaling the seamless continuity of Trump-era arms sales.
CNN earlier cited a State Department spokesperson, who said, “If concluded, this proposed sale will contribute to the modernization of Taiwan’s howitzer fleet, strengthening its self-defense capabilities to meet current and future threats.”
Taiwan is seeking a strategy dubbed as establishing “fortress Taiwan” – building up enough advanced weaponry to blunt a direct Chinese assault – at least until bigger allies could be called in. The focus on modernizing the army’s howitzer fleet is geared toward that strategic goal.
Meanwhile, rival military drills are kicking off in the South China Sea region as Taiwan tensions grow…
This drill is clearly a response to LSGE 21 executed by US Indo-Pacific Command. The US wants to demonstrate it doesn’t fear fighting a war in the Indo-Pacific, while China’s response is we are not afraid of fighting a war in the South China Sea, where it is the real focal point. https://t.co/hJeXdS0XlC
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) August 4, 2021
Last year after the Trump administration pushed forward an unprecedented seven major weapons systems sales to the democratic island, the South China Morning Post recently had warned of China’s ‘red lines’: “Unlike other areas of territorial contention, such as in the South China Sea, analysts say Beijing will show no flexibility on this issue and has not ruled out force to reunify Taiwan with the mainland,” it said at the time.
Thu, 08/05/2021 – 23:20
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