Beijing, Chinese companies will cut ties with US firms selling arms to Taiwan: China

China says the government and Chinese companies will sever business ties with US firms selling arms to self-ruled Taiwan, over which Beijing claims sovereignty, a move that will likely further deteriorate the already strained relations with Washington.

“China’s government and Chinese companies will not cooperate or have commercial contacts with these US companies,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang during a daily news briefing on Monday.

He added that the arms sales were a violation of international law and harmed China’s sovereignty and national security.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced that the US State Department had approved the sale of $2.2 billion in arms to Taiwan, including 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger missiles, and related equipment, which are manufactured by Raytheon Company, a major US defense contractor and industrial corporation.

On Friday, Beijing vowed that it would sanction US companies selling weapons to Taiwan but did not elaborate.

Geng on Monday did not give any details of Beijing’s possible sanctions against American companies.

“I can’t reveal the details at the moment. But believe this: Chinese people always stress standing by their word,” he added.

China, which regards Taiwan as a wayward province to be taken by force if needed, considers the possible US arms sales a breach of its sovereignty over the island, which is recognized by almost all the world countries under a policy known as One China.

The US, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the island but has long courted Taipei in an attempt to counter Beijing. The administration of US President Donald Trump in particular has been cozying up to Taiwan amid increasing tensions with Beijing over trade and a host of other issues.

Back in March, Taiwan’s pro-US president Tsai Ing-wen said that Washington was responding positively to Taipei’s requests for new arms sales to bolster its defenses in the face of what she described as pressure from China.

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