China has threatened to retaliate against the latest US arms sale to Chinese-claimed Taiwan, as the island welcomed the weapons package but said it was not looking to get into an arms race with Beijing.
The Trump administration has ramped up support for Taiwan through arms sales and visits by senior US officials, adding to tensions between Beijing and Washington.
Those tensions were already heightened by disagreements over the South China Sea, Hong Kong, human rights and trade.
Beijing has applied increasing pressure on democratically-ruled Taiwan to accept China’s sovereignty, including by flying fighter jets across the sensitive mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, which normally serves as an unofficial buffer.
Responding the US approval of a potential $US1.8 billion ($AUD $2.54 billion) arms sale to Taiwan, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a daily news briefing on Thursday that such sales should stop.
China “Steps Up War Preparations” With Hypersonic Missile Deployment Across From Taiwan
Beijing is stepping up the militarisation of its southeast coast as it prepares for a possible invasion of Taiwan, military observers and sources have said.
The People’s Liberation Army has been upgrading its missile bases, and one Beijing-based military source said it has deployed its most advanced hypersonic missile the DF-17 to the area.
“The DF-17 hypersonic missile will gradually replace the old DF-11s and DF-15s that were deployed in the southeast region for decades,” the source, who requested anonymity, because of the sensitivity of the topic. “The new missile has a longer range and is able to hit targets more accurately.”
h/t Tassie Lurker