China issues military warning to Donald Trump after US strikes torpedoes deal with Taiwan
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The US State Department has confirmed an agreement has been reached in principle for the sales of advanced torpedoes worth £147million ($180m) to Taiwan. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has hit out at the increased military ties between the two nations and warned it could undermine relations between China and the West.
China regards Taiwan as a wayward Chinese province and has claimed sovereignty over the nation since the end of the Civil War in 1949.
Despite claims by Beijing, Taiwan has been an independent Island nation since 1950.
The US has no official diplomatic relation with Taiwan but since 1979 is required by UN law to help the nation with its defence capabilities.
Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said: “China firmly opposes any forms of official and military ties between the US and Taiwan.”
China has increased its military presence in the region in recent months and has deployed fighter jets and warships to the Island.
The US State Department insisted the deal will help Taiwan update its security defences and political stability in the area.
In a statement, the department said: “This proposed sale serves US national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernise its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability.”
The Department added the sales “will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region”.
The timing of the deal came as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in for a second term in office, where the leader reiterated calls to remain independent.
Tsai said Taiwan cannot accept becoming part of China under its “one country, two systems” offer of autonomy.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Tsai on her second term.
He said: “The United States has long considered Taiwan a force for good in the world and a reliable partner.
“Support for Taiwan in the United States is bipartisan and unanimous.”
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Despite the renewed appetite from Taiwan to reject rule from Beijing, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang insisted China would not stop its campaign for reunification.
He said: “We will encourage them to join us in opposing Taiwan’s independence and promoting China’s reunification.
“With these efforts, we can surely create a beautiful future for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
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