China complains to US over latest arms sales to Taiwan

Beijing, Jul 5 (EFE).- China formally complained Wednesday to the United States for its latest arms sale to Taiwan, and said Washington’s actions aggravate tensions in the Strait of Formosa.

“China is completely opposed to the US selling arms to Taiwan and has filed a formal complaint with Washington about it. The US ignores China’s concerns, violates and interferes in its internal affairs, and deliberately escalates tensions across the Straits,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said in a statement.

He added that the US is “pushing the people of Taiwan into the abyss,” and called on Washington to stop selling arms to Taiwan “immediately.”

“The United States must stop following the dangerous path it has taken. Whether it is the US ‘using Taiwan to control China’ or the island’s authorities ‘using force to seek independence,’ both are bound to fail,” he said.

“The Chinese military remains on high alert and is determined to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as maintain stability and peace in the Taiwan Strait,” he added.

The Taiwanese defense ministry said Friday that 11 Chinese Army planes crossed the median of the Strait of Formosa after the US announced the sale of ammunition and military spare parts to Taiwan worth $440 million.

The Taiwanese military ministry said in the last few hours it detected 24 Chinese aircraft, including J-11, J-10 and J-16, of which 11 crossed the median line and approached the so-called “contiguous area” of Taiwan, located 24 nautical miles from its coasts.

The median of the Taiwan Strait has for years been an unofficial but tacitly respected border between Taipei and Beijing.

However, Chinese military planes have been through it constantly since August last year, when then-US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, a trip that angered Beijing.

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, a territory it considers a “rebel province” since Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the war against the communist army.

The self-governing island is one of the main sources of friction between China and the US, since the North American country is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would defend it in the event of a conflict. EFE


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