Mon, 17 Jun 2019

China says it has filed an official protest over plans by the United States to sell military equipment to Taiwan.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday in Beijing that Washington's plan to sell Taipei $330 million of spare parts for the F-16 fighter jet, the C-130 cargo plane and other military aircraft violates international laws. Geng demanded the Trump administration cancel the deal, saying it will damage China-U.S bilateral ties, peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and China's cooperation in other issues.

The deal was announced Monday by the U.S. State Department.

Taiwan's presidential office thanked the United States for the deal in a statement, vowing to 'maintain close communication and cooperation' with Washington on security issues.

China and Taiwan split in 1949 after Chaing Kai-shek's Nationalist forces were driven off the mainland by Mao Zedong's Communists and sought refuge on the island of Taiwan. Although it has never ruled the island, the communist government in Beijing considers it a renegade province that should be reunified with the mainland - by force, if necessary.

China has ramped up efforts to cut Taiwan off from the rest of the world since Tsai Ing-we, the leader of the pro-democracy Democratic Progressive Party, took office in 2016 and refused to accept the long-standing "one China' principle.

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