Trump administration announces another arms sale to Taiwan; China threatens 'countermeasures'

WION Web Team
Taiwan Published: Dec 08, 2020, 05:03 PM(IST)

Tsai Ing-wen and Xi Jinping Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The US government had earlier notified Congress of the sale of a new Field Information Communications System(FICS) to Taiwan.

As the Trump administration approved fresh arms sale to Taiwan, the country's President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan faces military threats from China on a "daily basis" over the South China Sea region.

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"Authoritarian forces consistently attempt to violate the existing norms-based order," Tsai said, adding, "Taiwan has been at the receiving end of such military threats on a daily basis."

China had threatened sanctions against Taiwan over the new arms sale as President Tsai said the contentious South China Sea area has become "increasingly militarised".  

Taiwan's defence ministry hailed the US government asserting that it helped to "consolidate security partnership" between the two countries in order to "maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait".

The Trump administration handed over the sixth arms package to Taiwan this year amid escalation of tensions between the US and China. The sale of weapons to Taiwan by the US government has touched $5 billion this year.

The new arms sale by the US government to Taiwan is worth $280 million as China said it would take  "necessary countermeasures" and "justified measures" against the US move to arm Taiwan.

On Monday, the US government had notified Congress of the sale of a new Field Information Communications System(FICS) as the Chinese foreign ministry urged the US to halt arms sale. 

According to reports, the FICS is designed to provide mobile communications and is an attempt to bloster Taiwan's military communications capability. It is the eleventh arms sale to Taiwan by the Trump administration during its four-year term.

"China urges the US to abide by the One-China principle and Three Joint Communique, stop selling arms to Taiwan, stop military contact with Taiwan, and withdraw from arms sales plans to Taiwan to avoid to harming China-US relations," the Chinese foreign ministry said.

"I hope they can distinguish whether the United States is actually helping them or harming them," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said.

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