The US plans to sell Taiwanese cruise missiles and missile launchers for more than a billion dollars. China reacts fiercely to the arms deal – announcing a “necessary response”.
China has threatened retaliation for the proposed sale of US missiles to Taiwan. Depending on further development, there will be a “legitimate and necessary response” to this arms trade, a Beijing Foreign Ministry spokesman said. The deal sends a “very wrong signal” to separatist forces in Taiwan and is seriously damaging US-China relations.
In recent days, the US government has approved sales of air-to-ground missiles to Taiwan worth more than $ 1 billion. These would help Taipei “face current and future threats,” the Washington State Department said. In addition to the 135 precision-guided cruise missiles, 11 mobile light missile launchers and six aerial reconnaissance systems will also be delivered to Taiwan, according to the US.
The US is urging Taiwan to rearm against China
China continues to regard Taiwan, which broke away from China in 1949, as a breakaway province that must be reunited with the mainland – by force if necessary. Beijing has increased diplomatic, economic and military pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen’s election in 2016. In recent months, Taipei has been complaining about a surge in airspace violations by Chinese military aircraft.
While Taiwan had resorted to an implied security guarantee from the US for decades, Washington recently urged Taipei to develop its own defense capabilities. The Taiwan issue has recently put pressure on the relationship between China and the US. Beijing saw it as a provocation for two senior US government officials to travel to Taiwan one after the other.
Overall, relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated significantly in recent months. These include the response to the corona pandemic, trade relations, China’s interference in the autonomy rights of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.