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China warns of new cold war after US approves arms sales to Taiwan

CHINA has demanded the US stop arms sales to Taiwan and end military contacts with the island to avoid further damage in the deteriorating relations between the two countries.

National Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian hit out after the US approved $180 million (£148m) sales to Taiwan that he said seriously violated the one-China principle and “rudely interfered in the domestic affairs of China.”

He stressed Beijing’s “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to the arms sales.

Mr Wu said the move would send the wrong signal to Taiwan independence separatists, “seriously undermining China's sovereignty and security, and seriously jeopardised the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” 

China’s People’s Liberation Army will take all necessary measures to firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi warned that Washington was pushing the countries to “the brink of a new cold war.”

“This dangerous attempt to turn back the will of history will undo the fruits of decades-long China-US co-operation, dampen America’s own development prospects and put world stability and prosperity in jeopardy,” he said.

The US Congress was notified of plans to sell 18 MK-48 Mod6 advanced-technology (AT) heavyweight torpedoes (HWT) and related equipment to Taiwan. In a similar move last year, Washington approved sales of $2.2 billion (£1.7bn) in tanks, missiles and related military hardware to the island.

The People’s Republic of China claims sovereignty over Taiwan under its one-China policy.

Taiwan has been governed separately from the mainland since 1949, when the defeated nationalist government fled there following the victory of communist forces led by Mao Zedong.

But the island is not part of the United Nations and has diplomatic ties with just 16 of the 193 UN member states.

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