Muslim Times (Web Desk) – China has opposed the United States selling weapons to Taiwan, after the administration of US President Donald Trump agreed to provide the self-ruled island nation with military technology to help it build its own submarines.
China’s Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian in a statement on Monday demanded that the Trump administration “halt all forms of military links between the United States and Taiwan, as well as all forms of weapon sales to Taiwan.”
“China’s military has the ability and determination to defeat all attempts to separate our country, and will adopt all necessary measures to resolutely defend national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity,” the statement read.
The remarks come after Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported on Saturday that the US State Department had approved the marketing license required for American manufacturers to sell submarine technology to Taiwan and assist it with submarine development.
A State Department official said the agency continued to review Taiwan’s defense needs and referred questions about specific procurement plans to Taiwanese authorities.
China and Taiwan split amid a civil war in 1949; however, Beijing’s leadership pursues their reunification.
China expects countries that have committed to the ‘One China’ policy to have no official relations with Taiwan and recognize Chinese sovereignty over the island.
The Trump administration, which has launched what is effectively a trade war with China, has previously angered Beijing over matters related to Taiwan.
Last month, Trump signed new rules that would allow senior US officials to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts and vice versa.
Beijing had earlier opposed the move, urging Washington to conform to the ‘One China’ policy and halt official exchanges with Taiwan to avoid “damaging Sino-US relations.”
Meanwhile, the office of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in a statement on Saturday expressed thanks to Washington for the license approval. “The US government’s decision will not only help Taiwan in raising its defense capabilities, it will also greatly benefit security and stability in the region.”
China suspects that Tsai seeks to push for formal independence, a move that would cross a red line for Beijing.
However, Tsai, a member of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, has claimed that she wants to keep the status quo and that she is committed to ensuring peace.
Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, but maintains trade relations with the island and is its main arms supplier.