Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

China vows to impose sanctions on US firms supplying Taiwan military

China vows to impose sanctions on US firms supplying Taiwan military

China's foreign ministry urged the USA on Tuesday to immediately withdraw the proposed sales and said it had lodged "stern representations".

The status of Taiwan, long a diplomatic flash point between the USA and China, is once again threatening to seriously undermine relations between Washington and Beijing after President Donald Trump's administration approved a new massive arms sale to the island nation.

Taiwanese media broadcast footage of the clashes outside the Grand Hyatt, where Tsai is staying during her two-day U.S. trip.

President Tsai Ing-wen is in NY on a two-night "transit" stop en route to an official visit to four Caribbean nations.

China claims the self-governed island of 24 million as part of its territory and has urged the USA not to allow Tsai to transit there while on overseas tours.

The New York Police Department was not immediately able to comment on whether there had been any arrests. China has been especially concerned that Taiwan may purchase new fighter jets from the US, but no such weapons are included in this sale.

Taiwan doesn't have diplomatic ties with the US, which gives it military and other support.

It bristles at any countries that might lend Taiwan diplomatic support or legitimacy. "The U.S. government believes Tsai is behaving responsibly in respecting the framework of U.S. -China-Taiwan relations".

Yet Washington remains its most powerful unofficial ally and biggest arms supplier.

"We urge the not let Tsai Ing-wen pass through its territory", he said, adding that the US should not provide a platform for "Taiwan independence separatist forces". The proposed sales may further test relations between the United States and China, already strained by protracted trade tensions.

Unlike the last three American presidents, who were wary of angering Beijing, Mr Donald Trump has ramped up relations with Taiwan.

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it is proposing a $2.2 billion sale that would include 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger surface-to-air missiles.

Despite protest chants by Chinese groups outside the venue, Tsai gave the 16-minute speech without interruption at a closed-door event at Columbia University, where she also conversed with political science professor Andrew Nathan and took questions from the roughly 100 students in attendance. "Any obstacles will only strengthen Taiwan's resolution to join the worldwide community".

"Part of the information war being waged against Taiwan involves them using their representatives via the media to create and disseminate fake news so as to cause division and conflict in Taiwan society", Tsai said.

It is not the first time that Beijing has threatened sanctions following a planned U.S. arms sale to Taiwan.

Tsai will visit Haiti, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis, which all recognize Taiwan.

China has poached five of Taipei's dwindling number of allies since Ms Tsai became President in 2016.

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