The Trump administration is moving forward with an $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan.
China said it would sanction any U.S. firm involved in a planned $8 billion sale of advanced fighter jets to Taiwan, in retaliation against what it describes as Washington’s attempt to undermine Chinese national security.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged the US to stop the arms sales and end military contact with Taiwan.
The US government has approved the possible $8bn (£6.6bn) deal involving 66 aircraft, the biggest in decades.
The potential sale comes amid ongoing tensions between Washington and Beijing, notably over trade.
Now Taiwan’s Air Force has confirmed it expects to buy more than 66 new Lockheed Martin Block 70 F-16C/D Vipers and released an infographic about the fighter jets that says “See you soon!”
The Taiwanese Air Force included in the infographic in a post on Facebook on August 16, 2019. That same social media post also declared that the United States had agreed to sell Taiwan the advanced F-16s in 2019.
China regards Taiwan as part of its territory which should be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.
It has regularly criticised US arms deals with Taiwan including the current one, which has been widely discussed.
In a statement, it said that the deal was for 66 F-16 fighter aircraft, 75 General Electric engines and other systems.
The sale was in US national interests and would help improve Taiwan’s security, it added.
Quoted by Chinese state media, Mr Geng said the sale was a violation of international law and international relations, as well as the One China policy – under which the US recognises and has only formal ties with China and not Taiwan.
China would take all necessary measures to safeguard its own interests, he added, including imposing sanctions on firms involved in the deal.