China warns US: Don’t play with fire with the Taiwan question

On Friday, China declared that it would impose sanctions on US companies who were involved in the latest arms deal with Taiwan. The move is believed to escalate tensions between US and China, who are already struggling to find a mutually agreeable way to end their trade war.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang released a statement online, expressing ‘strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition’ to the act on behalf of the Chinese government. He said, “The US arms sale to Taiwan has severely violated the basic norms of international law and international relations.”

He added “In order to safeguard national interests, China will impose sanctions on US enterprises participating in this sale of weapons to Taiwan.”

China considers Taiwan as a part of territory since 1949. Though the self-governed island strongly rejects the claim, calling itself an independent entity. China, which follows a communist regime, turns sour on any nation who identifies Taiwan as a separate nation or extend diplomatic ties with it.

The US weapon sale to Taiwan would definitely trigger Beijing to go hard with Washington in its trade negotiations.

On Tuesday, Beijing exacted Washington for immediate cancellation of $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan, which included the transfer of war tanks and anti-aircraft missiles. The US brushed off the matter, referring the arms deal as a peaceful pact to contribute to the “peace and stability” in Asia.

US’s casual response irked Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who warned Washington “not to play with fire with the Taiwan question.” The Chinese government firmly censured US’s move, calling it an attempt to provide a platform for “Taiwan independence separatist forces”.

US is believed to support Taiwan under the table, with recognition and arms.

US president Donald Trump, is first among his three predecessors to fiddle openly with the sensitive geopolitical issue of Taipei.

Things got worse with the news of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s two-day stay in US this week, which came ahead of his planned trip to build diplomatic ties with different allies to fetch support for Taiwan.

Tsai is scheduled to visit Caribbean, Haiti, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, and St Christopher and Nevis during his trip.

Over Tsai’s visit, Geng said “We urge the US… to not let Tsai Ing-wen pass through its territory.”

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