China issues retaliation threat over $1.4B sales of U.S. arms to Taiwan

China promised retaliation if an arms sale deal, potentially worth $1.8 billion and including SLAM-ER missiles, pictured, between Taiwan and the United States is completed. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

Oct. 23 (UPI) — A spokesman of the Chinese defense ministry suggested that China will retaliate if $1.4 billion U.S. arms sales to Taiwan go through.

“The move seriously damages relations between the two countries and the two militaries, as well as the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China firmly opposes it,” said spokesperson Col. Tan Kefei of China’s Ministry of National Defense on Thursday.

“China strongly urges the U.S. side to immediately cancel the plans of selling weapons to Taiwan and cease military contact with the island and handle issues related to Taiwan prudently, so as to avoid serious consequences to Sino-American bilateral and mil-to-mil relations, as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” he added.

The statement from the ministry noted that, according to Tan, “if the U.S. side discards the basic norms of international relations, violates its commitment and acts capriciously and obstinately, China will for sure resolutely strike back.”

The U.S. State Department approved two arms deals with Taiwan on Thursday, totaling $1.4 billion.

The larger of the two, estimated at $1 billion, involves the sale of 135 SLAM-ER missiles made by Boeing Co. The total package includes the sale of Himars mobile artillery rocket systems made by Lockheed Martin Corp., and $367 million in aircraft-mounted surveillance and reconnaissance sensors from Raytheon Technologies Corp.


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