China 'outraged' by $1.42 bln planned US arms sales to Taiwan

By Reuters/Christian Shepherd   June 30, 2017 | 03:25 pm GMT+7
China 'outraged' by $1.42 bln planned US arms sales to Taiwan
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen attends the annual Han Kuang military drill in Penghu, Taiwan May 25, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Tyrone Siu/ File Photo

The package includes technical support for early warning radar, high speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components.

China's embassy to the United States has urged Washington to revoke its "wrong decision" immediately and halt $1.42 billion worth of planned arms sales to Taiwan.

"The Chinese government and Chinese people have every right to be outraged," the embassy said in a statement released late on Thursday. The sale sends a very wrong message to "Taiwan independence" forces, it said.

China's anger over Washington's decision risks damaging U.S. President Donald Trump's attempts to seek additional help from China to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missiles programs.

"The wrong move of the U.S. side runs counter to the consensus reached by the two presidents in Mar-a-Lago and the positive development momentum of the China-U.S. relationship," China's embassy said, referring to Trump's Florida resort where the U.S. leader met Chinese President Xi Jinping in April.

Trump had previously played up his personal relationship with Xi after that meeting, calling him a "good man."

The United States is the sole arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems its own. It has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday the administration had told Congress of seven proposed sales to Taiwan, the first such sales under the Trump administration.

The package includes technical support for early warning radar, high speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components.

Beijing's relationship with Taiwan has been frosty since president Tsai Ing-wen took power in Taipei last year. Tsai leads an independence-leaning party that refuses to recognize the "one China" policy.

Tsai's office said on Friday the sale increased Taiwan's confidence and ability to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.