'Wrong Move': China Blasts $1.4B US-Taiwan Arms Deal
The timing is key
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2017 7:35 AM CDT
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A line of US M60A3 Patton tanks fire at targets during exercises on Penghu Island, Taiwan, on May 25, 2017.   (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

(Newser) – The State Department announced Thursday that the US has reached a $1.4 billion arms deal with Taiwan; a source tells CNN it includes the sale of advanced missiles and torpedoes and technical support for early warning radar. Taiwan's Ministry of Defense said Friday it is "sincerely grateful" for the deal, "which will boost our combat capabilities in air and sea." But China is far less pleased. More:

  • It's about protection: A US official tells CNN the deal shows "our support for Taiwan's ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability"—something the US is required to do under the Taiwan Relations Act signed in 1979.
  • It's not unusual: The South China Morning Post notes every US president since Jimmy Carter has OKed arms sales to Taiwan. Former President Obama approved a $1.8 billion sale in 2015.
  • Timing: This deal, however, comes at a "delicate time" in US-China relations, with tensions already high over North Korea, reports the AP.

  • One China: A State Department rep says the US remains committed to its "one-China" policy, meaning it will not carry on an official relationship with Taiwan and does not consider it to be its own country. China views Taiwan as part of its territory.
  • But China is peeved: The Chinese Embassy in Washington calls the deal a "wrong move" that "grossly interferes" in China's domestic affairs, per the Morning Post, adding China "reserves every right to take further action."
  • What about Mar-a-Lago? China's ambassador to Washington adds the deal has "damaged the basis and mutual trust between the two countries" and "contradicts the spirit and consensus" of Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in April, reports CNN.
  • There's more: A rep for China's Foreign Ministry says the country is also "strongly concerned about and firmly opposed to" a new bill allowing US naval vessels to make routine stops at ports in Taiwan.
  • Next up: The arms deal is likely to come up when Trump holds his second meeting with Xi at the G20 summit in Germany next week.

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