China blasts US sale of F-16 jets to Taiwan, threatens sanctions

F-16V fighter jet landing in Taiwan

China threatens sanctions over US-Taiwan F-16 fighter plane deal

The US government has given the go-ahead for the sale of 66 F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said August 19 on Fox News that President Donald Trump notified Congress of the approved sale at the end of last week.

BEIJING (AP) - China "will not sit idly by" if the USA proceeds with a sale of advanced F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan, a senior Chinese army officer said Thursday while warning of other potential countermeasures in addition to punishing foreign firms involved in the deal.

Geng warned that to protect its interests, China will take all necessary measures, including imposing sanctions on U.S. firms involved in arms sales.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged the U.S. to stop the arms sales and end military contact with Taiwan. "They constitute severe interference in China's internal affairs and undermine China's sovereignty and security interests". "Our actions are consistent with past US policy. If you recall last month after the US sold $2 billion worth of Abrams tanks to Taiwan, China similarly threatened sanctions, but nothing has really transpired thus far".

This sale of fighter jets is the fourth package of arms sales to Taiwan from the Trump administration. "We are simply following through on the commitments we've made to all of the parties".

Taiwan already has a fleet of older F-16s purchased in 1992 that has undergone upgrades. "Otherwise, Washington will have to answer for all the consequences", Gen Shuang, official representative of China's Foreign Ministry, said at a news briefing on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council on Thursday once again urged the United States to immediately cease arms sales to Taiwan and stop its support for "Taiwan independence" separatist forces. It wouldn't need to be as secretive this time around as Beijing is confident in its more advanced technology and news of a potential sale has been circulating for some time, said Wu Shang Su, a research fellow at Singapore's S Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

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