China says it will sanction US firms in Taiwan warplane sale

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2014, file photo, a Taiwan Air Force F-16 fighter jet takes off from a closed section of highway during the annual Han Kuang military exercises in Chiayi, central Taiwan. China said Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, that it will levy sanctions against U.S. firms linked to plans for an U.S. dollars 8 billion sale of F-16 fighters to Taiwan in a move that has further strained Sino-American relations. (AP Photo/Wally Santana, File)

BEIJING — China said Wednesday that it will levy sanctions against U.S. companies linked to a planned $8 billion sale of advanced F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan in a move that has further strained Sino-American relations.

The U.S. should "immediately back away" from the arms sale proposal, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing.

Geng said China urges the U.S. to "stop arms sales to and military interactions with Taiwan" or otherwise "bear all the consequences arising from it."

"China will take all necessary measures to safeguard its own interests, including imposing sanctions on U.S. companies involved in this arms sale to Taiwan," Geng said. He did not elaborate on any specific measures.

The Trump administration informed Congress last week that it plans to sell the warplanes despite repeated warnings from China. Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department approved the sale.

Beijing fiercely opposes all arms sales to Taiwan, which it regards as a renegade province, but has specifically objected to advanced fighter jets. Despite a lack of formal diplomatic ties, U.S. law requires Washington to ensure Taiwan has the means to defend itself.

Taiwan is a democratically governed island that broke away from the Communist Party-ruled mainland during a civil war in 1949.

China also pledged sanctions against the U.S. in July when the Trump administration said it was considering a $2.2 billion sale of tanks and air missiles to Taiwan.

Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen thanked the U.S. on Tuesday for approving the sales.

"These packages reaffirm the United States' long-standing commitment to helping maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," Tsai said. She also urged China to respect Taiwan's right to defend itself.

___

Associated Press videojournalist Taijing Wu in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed to this report.

Must Read

Giant panda is no longer endangered, experts say

Sep 5, 2016

A leading international group has taken the giant panda off its endangered list thanks to decades...

Asian stocks mixed on stronger China trade, Nasdaq gain

Sep 8, 2016

Asian stock markets were mixed Thursday after China reported unexpectedly strong trade and Wall...

US tycoon's China scholarship project opens doors in Beijing

Sep 10, 2016

A new scholarship program intended to rival the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships and build...

China, Russia launch South China Sea naval war games

Sep 12, 2016

China's military says the Chinese and Russian navies are launching eight days of war games in the...

Taiwan loses diplomatic ally in move welcomed by Beijing

Dec 21, 2016

Taiwan has condemned the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe's "abrupt" move to break...

About Us

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.