See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

China urges US to cancel $3b arms sale to Taiwan

Beijing says Washington violating ‘one China’ principle; experts warn of Chinese retaliation.


Written by

Updated: July 10, 2019

China has urged the United States to immediately cancel the potential sale of US$2.2 billion (S$3 billion) in weapons to Taiwan that include tanks, anti-tank missiles and other military hardware.

The US State Department’s decision on Monday to green-light the latest arms package for the island seriously violates the “one China” principle and “grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular briefing in Beijing yesterday.

Mr Geng said that China has lodged formal complaints through diplomatic channels and expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the arms deal.

“China urges the US to… immediately cancel the planned arms sale and stop military relations with Taipei to avoid damaging Sino-US relations and harming peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Mr Geng added.

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) had earlier said that the arms deal included 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger portable anti-aircraft missiles and related equipment and support.

The proposed package would “contribute to the modernisation of the recipient’s main battle tank fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence”, the DSCA said.

Taiwan’s Presidential Office expressed “sincere gratitude” to the US government for the arms sale.

China has repeatedly registered its opposition to US arms sales to Taiwan, and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe warned at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore last month that Beijing would “fight at all costs” any attempts to split Taiwan from the mainland.

RESOLUTE OPPOSITION

China has significantly stepped up diplomatic and military pressure on Taipei since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party refuses to acknowledge that the island is part of “one China”.

The pressure has included more frequent military exercises by the People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait in recent months.

Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province to be “reunified” by force, if necessary.

Nationalistic Chinese tabloid Global Times yesterday mocked Taipei for its latest arms purchase, which it said did not meaningfully alter the military balance in the Taiwan Strait, which overwhelmingly is in favour of Beijing.

“The purchase of US armaments has already lost physical significance, but what Taipei wants is the psychological effect,” it said in an editorial.

Sino-US experts said Beijing is likely to see the latest arms deal as a provocation, and might be planning retaliatory measures.

While the US’ latest weapons sale package to Taiwan is nowhere near the biggest historically, it is the fourth and largest one assembled by the Trump administration.

“China-US relations are very delicate right now, and military ties are not very good despite Defence Minister Wei Fenghe and (Acting US Defence Secretary) Patrick Shanahan’s meeting last month and their agreement to maintain communication,” said Professor Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University.

“Beijing is likely to respond, although it is difficult to say how.”

 



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

S. Korea, Japan to hold working-level talks

The two countries have not pursued diplomacy since a high level talk failed earlier this month. South Korea’s Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that an official handling Asia-Pacific affairs will visit Japan to meet his counterpart amid mounting tensions between the two countries. Kim Jung-han, director general for Asian and Pacific Affairs at Seoul’s Foreign Ministry, will meet Shigeki Takizaki to discuss matters of mutual interest, the ministry said in a press release. This is Kim’s first one-on-one meeting with Takizaki, who replaced Kenji Kanasugi as head of Japan’s Foreign Ministry’s Southeast and Southwest Asian affairs departmen


By The Korea Herald
September 20, 2019

Diplomacy

PM Imran expresses Pakistan’s resolve to stand with Saudi Arabia in face of threat to security

Saudi Arabia say they were attacked by Iranian drones. Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and expressed Pakistan’s resolve to stand with Saudi Arabia “in the event of a threat to its sanctity and security”, a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said. The premier condemned the recent drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities and assured King Salman of Pakistan’s continued support to the Kingdom. According to the PMO statement, Prime Minister Imran also briefed King Salman on the current situation in occupied Kashmir. “King Salman reiterated the Kingdom’s solidarity and long-held support on the Kashmir issue,” said the statement. The two leaders discussed relations between the two countries as well as the regional and global political situation. They also talked about other matt


By Dawn
September 20, 2019

Diplomacy

After 19 yrs, polio back in PH

The anti-vaxxer movement has done it again. The Philippines is in the midst of a polio epidemic 19 years after it was declared polio-free, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced on Thursday. Polio is a crippling and at times fatal infectious disease. (See In the Know.) Duque said a single confirmed case signaled an epidemic in a once polio-free country. He said a 3-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur was diagnosed with a vaccine-derived polio virus type 2. The Department of Health (DOH) is awaiting confirmation of a suspected case of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). Rabindra Abeyasinghe, country representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), noted that the type 2 polio virus had not been in circulation for many years and was certified eliminated in the Philippines. Metro Manila, Davao “[S]o the vaccination program that the DOH and other co


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 20, 2019

Diplomacy

China demands US drop bill on HK

China has accused the United States of meddling in the past. China on Thursday demanded the United States stop advancing a Hong Kong-related bill and its interference in Hong Kong affairs on Thursday, after US lawmakers held a news conference to back the bill. US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a bipartisan group of members of Congress held the media event on the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019”. Hong Kong separatists, including Joshua Wong Chifung and Denise Ho Wan-see, attended the event. China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to the move, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Thursday. Pelosi and other US politicians “failed to distinguish right from wrong” despite China repeatedly expressing its solemn stance over US meddling in Hong Kong affairs, Geng said. They were “brutally interfering in China


By China Daily
September 20, 2019

Diplomacy

Pakistan denies India’s request for use of airspace by Modi for flight to Germany

The latest in a series of escalating diplomatic tit-for-tats. The government on Wednesday announced its decision not to grant India’s request for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use Pakistani airspace for his flight to Germany. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the decision has been made “keeping in view the situation in occupied Kashmir”. “A request was received from India saying that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to use Pakistani airspace for an overflight on the 20th to Germany and wishes to use the same for a return flight on the 28th,” said the foreign minister in a video statement. “Keeping in view the situation in occupied Kashmir and India’s attitude witnessed in the tyranny and oppression [suffered by Kashmiris] and the violations of rights in the region, we have decided not to grant this request,” he said.


By Dawn
September 19, 2019

Diplomacy

India bans e-cigarettes

The decision has been met with criticism and charges of favouritism. The Union Cabinet’s move on Wednesday clearing an ordinance for banning production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes and proposing a jail term and fine for its violators evoked mixed reactions among a section of Delhi doctors and other stakeholders. The Centre’s decision was slammed by trade bodies and certain stakeholders related to e-cigarettes, who reportedly alleged that it was a “draconian” move taken hastily in the interest of the conventional cigarette industry. They also charged that the government was depriving people of a safer alternative to smoking. Dr Gyandeep Mangal, senior consultant in Respiratory Medicine, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, said, “We are glad with the ban on e-cigarettes by Union Cabinet as these are as harmful as regular cigarettes. It is true that e-cigarette doesn


By The Statesman
September 19, 2019