‘Cease arms sales to Taiwan’

A Taiwan Air Force F-16 fighter jet lands on a closed section of highway during the annual Han Kuang military exercises

Following the decision of Washington to agree the sale, notwithstanding the clear objection of China, the government of Xi Jinping informed sanctions would be enforced as reprisal.

China on Wednesday urged the United States to immediately cancel the planned arms sales to Taiwan, saying China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests including imposing sanctions on USA companies involved in the planned sales.

The sale was in United States national interests and would help improve Taiwan's security, it added.

Disregarding the wellbeing, interests and lives of Taiwan compatriots, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority has shamelessly sold itself and sought refuge with the United States, bringing the 23 million Taiwan compatriots to a dead end, which will surely face punishment by history, Ma said.

China said it had lodged diplomatic protests against the deal and on Wednesday urged the U.S.to "cancel this arms sale plan at once, stop selling arms to Taiwan and cut its military contact with Taiwan".

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"China will take all necessary measures to safeguard our interests including imposing sanctions on the United States companies participating in this arms sale to Taiwan", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing.

USA defense companies are mostly barred from making military sales to China, although LMT has sold civilian helicopters to Chinese buyers through its Sikorsky Aircraft unit.

This comes after the US Defense Department officially notified the US Congress of the plan to sell 66 F-16 fighters and relevant equipment worth around 8 billion US dollars to Taiwan and to provide support.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch, a Republican, has welcomed the proposed sale of the Lockheed Martin F-16 jets.

Beijing's military is much larger and more advanced, with a missile arsenal that could likely wipe out the island's air strips in the event of any conflict across the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan now has a fleet of old-model F-16s purchased in 1992, which have undergone several crucial upgrades. Beijing asserted last month it is "ready to go to war" if people "try to split Taiwan from the country".

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