China urges U.S. to revoke Taiwan arms sales plan amid rising tensions

Chinese defence spokesperson Zhang Xiaogang demands the U.S. cancel its $300 million arms sales to Taiwan, emphasising the threat to regional stability.

On Friday, Zhang Xiaogang, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defence, issued a stern warning to the United States regarding its recent approval of a $300 million arms sale to Taiwan. In a statement, Zhang urged the U.S. to revoke the arms sales plan and to cease supplying weapons to Taiwan in any form, emphasising that such actions severely undermine peace and stability in the region.

Zhang’s remarks came in response to a media query following the U.S. Department of Defence’s recent notification to Congress about the planned sale of military equipment to Taiwan. The sale, which includes advanced missile systems and radar equipment, is intended to bolster Taiwan’s defence capabilities against potential threats. However, China views this as a direct challenge to its sovereignty and a provocative move that could escalate tensions across the Taiwan Strait.

The Chinese government has consistently maintained that Taiwan is an inseparable part of its territory, and it vehemently opposes any form of foreign military support for the island. Zhang reaffirmed this stance, asserting that the arms sale breaches the One-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, which underpin the diplomatic ties between the two countries. He warned that such actions not only harm China-U.S. relations but also jeopardise the stability and security of the entire Asia-Pacific region.

Zhang called on the U.S. to adhere to the principles of the three joint communiqués and to cease any form of military contact with Taiwan. He emphasised that China is resolute in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity and will take all necessary measures to protect its national interests. The spokesperson also urged the U.S. to recognise the high sensitivity and complexity of the Taiwan issue and to act prudently to avoid further complicating the situation.

The U.S. arms sale to Taiwan has been a longstanding point of contention in China-U.S. relations. Washington maintains that its arms sales to Taiwan are consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, which obliges the U.S. to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself. However, Beijing views these sales as a serious violation of international law and a direct affront to its sovereignty.