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18 August 2017 Last updated 29 minutes ago

China warns US over advanced arms sales to Taiwan

China’s President Xi Jinping China’s President Xi Jinping

On Monday China called on Washington to stop arms sales to Taiwan in order to preserve Sino-US relations, peace and stability in the Taiwan Straight, reported international media.

China showed its firm opposition to US arms sales to Taiwan, amid reports that Donald Trump’s administration is set to send a shipment of advanced weaponry to the self-ruling island.

“China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan, this is consistent and clear-cut,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing. She added that Washington should abide by the One-China policy.The comments come one day after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ended a visit to Beijing, followed reports in US media that Trump’s government was preparing a large-scale arms shipment for Taiwan.

China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and waiting for reunification, by force if necessary.

The United States is the democratically-ruled island’s most powerful ally and its main arms supplier, even though the two sides do not have official diplomatic ties after Washington switched recognition to Beijing in 1979.

There have been concerns that Taiwan will become a bargaining chip between the US and China since Trump angered Beijing with a protocol-busting telephone conversation with the island’s President Tsai Ing-wen following his election victory.

Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping subsequently smoothed over the dispute in a phone call in which the US leader reiterated Washington’s adherence to the One China policy, which nominally acknowledges Beijing’s claim without recognising it.

Taiwan unveiled a major defence report last week and confirmed publicly for the first time that it was capable of launching missiles at China.