US arms sale threatens safety of Taiwanese people: China

ISTANBUL (AA) : The US arms sale to Taiwan “threatens the safety” of the people living on the island nation, China’s Defense Ministry said on Friday.

“The US arms sales to the island of Taiwan are malicious actions that interfere with China’s internal affairs, violating the one-China principle and the China-US three Joint Communiques, threatening the safety of people in the island and cross-Straits stability,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Zhang Xiaogang, according to daily Beijing-based Global Times.

“China firmly opposes this latest sale and has lodged solemn representation to the US,” Zhang said.

The Pentagon on Wednesday approved a potential sale of F-16 Infrared Search and Track (IRST) systems and related equipment to Taiwan at an estimated cost of $500 million.

“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” the Pentagon said.

In response, Beijing said it “will take resolute, powerful measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

China considers Taiwan as its “breakaway province” while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949.