The government of China has threatened to “make legitimate and necessary responses” after the US approved the potential sale of $1.8bn worth of advanced weapons systems to Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own.
The country’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that the US – in approving the arms sale – was violating agreements signed in the 1970s that established diplomatic relations between the duo.
The weapons sale includes 135 air-to-ground missiles that Taiwan’s defense ministry indicated would build its combat competences amid increasing threats by China to annex the territory by force if required.
Zhao Lijian who is a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry said at a news briefing that the United States move is “sending a very wrong signal to separatist forces advocating for Taiwan independence, and seriously damages China-US relations”.
He continued in his statement that China would “make a legitimate and necessary response depending [on] how the situation evolves”.
Beijing has ramped up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who views the island as a de facto sovereign nation and not part of the “One China” policy.