China condemns U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, citing violation of one-China principle

China has condemned the U.S. approval of $300 million in arms sales to Taiwan, citing violations of the one-China principle. The move is seen as a threat to regional stability and China’s sovereignty, prompting formal diplomatic protests.

China has expressed strong opposition to the recent U.S. approval of two arms sales to Taiwan, valued at approximately $300 million. The Chinese Ministry of National Defence, represented by Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, has condemned the sales, stating that they seriously violate the one-China principle and the three Sino-U.S. Joint Communiqués, particularly the August 17 Communiqué. The ministry asserts that these actions undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and harm China’s sovereignty and security interests.

The one-China principle is a cornerstone of China’s foreign policy, asserting that there is only one China and that Taiwan is an inseparable part of it. This principle has been a significant component of the diplomatic relationship between the United States and China since the two countries established formal relations in 1979. The August 17 Communiqué, one of the key agreements between the two nations, specifically addresses the issue of arms sales to Taiwan. It outlines a commitment by the U.S. to gradually reduce the level of arms sales to Taiwan, leading to a final resolution over time.

China views the U.S.’s latest arms sales to Taiwan as a blatant disregard for these commitments. Senior Colonel Zhang emphasised that such actions not only contravene international agreements but also escalate tensions in the Taiwan Straits, a region that has long been a flashpoint in U.S.-China relations. He stated, “The sale of weapons to Taiwan severely harms China’s sovereignty and security interests and undermines peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits. We are strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to this”.

In response to the U.S.’s actions, China has lodged stern representations, a formal diplomatic protest, with the U.S. side. This move reflects the seriousness with which China views the issue and its determination to defend its territorial integrity and national security. The Chinese government has consistently warned that continued U.S. arms sales to Taiwan could lead to further deterioration of bilateral relations and provoke stronger measures from Beijing.

The U.S. government, for its part, maintains that its arms sales to Taiwan are in line with the Taiwan Relations Act, which obligates the U.S. to provide Taiwan with sufficient defence capabilities. The U.S. argues that these sales are necessary for maintaining peace and stability in the region by enabling Taiwan to defend itself against potential aggression.