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Proposed US fighter jet sale to Taiwan criticized

By WANG QINGYUN | China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-22 07:17
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang. [Photo/IC]

China will impose sanctions on companies involved in the proposed sale by the United States of advanced F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, after Washington pushed ahead with the deal against Beijing's protestations.

The US State Department approved the $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets and related equipment and support, and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the possible sale on Tuesday, the agency said in a statement.

Reiterating China's firm opposition in a daily news conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China has protested to the US over the deal. "China will take all necessary measures to safeguard its interests, including imposing sanctions on US companies participating in this sale," he said.

The announcement came two days after Geng said China would respond according to the development of the deal.

US arms sales to Taiwan are a grave violation of international law, basic norms of international relations, the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, Geng said, adding that such moves represent serious interference in China's domestic affairs and undermine China's sovereignty and security interests.

China is firmly determined to safeguard its sovereignty, unity and security, Geng added, calling again for the US to cancel the plan, stop selling arms to Taiwan and cut military ties with it.

Beijing has been voicing strong opposition to the sale which comes 27 years after the US last sold F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, and said Washington must accept "all consequences" if it doesn't drop the deal.

The Taiwan question is about China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and involves its core interests, Geng said.

This is the second time since July that Beijing has announced plans to impose sanctions. On July 12 it said it would resort to sanctions on US companies involved in a US planned arms sale to Taiwan worth about $2.2 billion for missiles, tanks and other military equipment.

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