China has expressed its displeasure with the U.S. sale of $1.4 billion in arms to Taiwan.
Beijing wants Washington to revoke the sale, labeling the transaction a “wrong move.”
The Chinese embassy in Washington said, “The wrong move of the U.S. side runs counter to the consensus reached by the two presidents in Mar-a-Lago and the positive development momentum of the China-U.S. relationship.”
The Trump administration informed Congress about the sale Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
China considers self-governing Taiwan as its territory.
“Taiwan is an indispensable part of China’s territory and we firmly oppose this arms sale to Taiwan,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in Beijing.
The sale comes at a delicate time for relations between Washington and Beijing over efforts to rein in nuclear-armed North Korea.
Nauert said the sale would not violate the Taiwan Relations Act that governs U.S. contacts with the island.
“It shows, we believe, our support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense policy,” Nauert said. “There’s no change, I should point out, to our ‘one-China policy.”’
The last U.S. arms sale to Taiwan, worth $1.8 billion, was announced in December 2015. China objected strongly, but it did not notably set back U.S.-China relations and military ties.
Since then, however, Taiwan has further antagonized Beijing by electing a leader from an independence-leaning party, Tsai Ing-wen.