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China calls on United States to cancel Taiwan President's transit stop

13 July 2019

In Beijing Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) issued a statement saying that China would impose sanctions on US companies participating in the deal, which it said severely violated agreements, the "One China Principle" and the sovereignty and security of China.

"In order to safeguard national interests, China will impose sanctions on USA enterprises participating in this sale of weapons to Taiwan", he said.

On Friday, Chinese state-backed media voiced the Communist Party's fury over the U.S.' latest expression of support for Taipei's independence, in a move that Beijing suggested contravenes accepted diplomatic and legal norms.

It bristles at any countries that might lend Taiwan diplomatic support or legitimacy.

"The 23 million people in Taiwan have the right to participate in global affairs", Tsai said.

Washington said the sales would not alter the basic military balance in the region, but Beijing, a major USA security rival with which Washington has been engaged in a year-long trade war, has demanded the deal be revoked.

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Following the announcement, Beijing lodged formal complaints through diplomatic channels expressing "strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition" and demanded the United States "immediately cancel" the arms sale.

"To safeguard our national interests, China will impose sanctions on the United States enterprises involved in the above-mentioned arms sales to Taiwan", Geng said. The US, as it has done before, welcomed her despite Chinese opposition.

The Chinese government has been pushing the USA to cancel the planned sale and has even threatened to sanction United States companies involved in the deal.

"No one should ever underestimate the Chinese government and people's will and resolution to safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and core interests of the country", it said, warning Taipei that "relying on foreigners" will only result in "failure and self-destruction".

Taiwan has been a sore spot in the bilateral US-China relationship throughout the Trump administration.

And although Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, it has remained Taiwan's most powerful unofficial ally and biggest arms supplier.

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President Tsai Ing-wen is in NY on a two-night "transit" stop en route to an official visit to four Caribbean nations.

Tsai is spending two days in NY ahead of a visit to diplomatic allies in the Caribbean.

The decision to let Tsai pass through the United States has drawn ire from Beijing, which voiced "firm" opposition to official exchanges between Washington and Taipei.

"We urge the not let Tsai Ing-wen pass through its territory", said Geng.

"Your efforts amplify the voice of the Taiwanese people, letting the whole world hear our desires", Tsai said at the first open event at TECO New York hosted by a sitting Taiwanese president.

Taiwan's tensions with China, with which it has developed expansive commercial ties, have grown under Tsai, who has been president since 2016.

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China calls on United States to cancel Taiwan President's transit stop