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    China Threatens US Companies with Sanctions Over Arms Sales to Taiwan

    CC BY 2.0 / Capt. Shannon Collins / 100427-F-6393C-080
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    On Tuesday, The United States greenlighted an $8 billion sale of 66 F-16 fighter jets and related equipment to Taiwan which seeks to modernise its military and maintain credible defence capabilities.

    Beijing objects the US decision to approve arms sales to Taiwan and intends to impose sanctions on American companies that supply arms to the island, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Geng Shuang, said on Wednesday.

    "China condemns the decision by the United States. We have already made solemn complaints to the US side and call on Washington to fully recognise the serious dangers of the arms sale to Taiwan", Geng said.

    The statement comes in response to the Pentagon's approval of the possible sale to Taiwan of 66 F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft, related equipment and support at an estimated cost of $8 billion.

    In July, Beijing warned Washington against interfering in Taiwan's internal affairs and demanded that the US terminate any official and military contacts between Washington and Taipei.

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry has repeatedly called Taiwan the most sensitive issue affecting US-China bilateral relations. Beijing considers the island its sovereign territory and hopes to reunite it with China someday.

    China ruptured official ties with the insular province in 1949 when Taiwan declared its independence. The mainland and Taiwan re-established diplomatic contacts in the late 80s.

    China has repeatedly slammed the US for attempting to provide military assistance to the island.

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