China’s Defense Ministry on Wednesday accused the United States of “deliberately” the escalation of tensions in the Taiwan Strait after Washington authorized the sale of $440 million worth of military equipment to Taipei last week.
The weapons package, which includes 30mm ammunition, small arms, combat weapon systems and other logistical support items, was approved last week by the US State Department. But in a stern statement, Beijing’s defense ministry spokesman accused Washington of “gross interference” in its internal affairs.
“It amounts to accelerating Taiwan’s transformation into a ‘powder keg’ and pushing the Taiwanese people into the abyss of disaster,” he added. Tan Kefei said at a press briefing, according to a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
Tan also urged Washington to “immediately stop selling arms to Taiwan” and end “any form of US-Taiwanese military collusion”. He also warned that any plans to “use force to gain independence” are “doomed to fail.”
Last week, the US State Department said the arms deal – which is to come in the form of two separate packages – will strengthen “modernization efforts [Taiwan’s] armed forces and maintain a credible defensive capability.
In his statement Wednesday, Tan also called on the Biden administration to uphold the terms of the “One China” principle – in which Beijing declares Taiwan to be part of its sovereign territory and a breakaway province that must be returned to full China. rule.
Washington does not formally recognize Taipei’s claims to autonomous independence, but maintains informal diplomatic relations. US law states that he must “supply Taiwan with defensive weapons” resist threats that could “endangering the security of the Taiwanese people”.
China frequently expresses anger over diplomatic exchanges between Taiwanese leaders and foreign governments. In April, following a meeting in California between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and US President Kevin McCarthy, China held several days of military exercises around the island – including one that simulated a naval blockade .
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