Taiwan calls Chinese sanctions on US contractor over arms sale 'barbaric threat'

Taiwan says China's 'irrational clamor' cannot cover up its 'aggressive and hegemonic nature'

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(army.mil photo)

(army.mil photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Tuesday (July 14) condemned China's planned sanctions on Lockheed Martin for its participation in a recent U.S. arms sale to Taiwan as a "barbaric threat."

On July 10, the U.S. State Department gave the green light to a request by Taiwan to recertify its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles for the price of US$620 million. On Tuesday (July 14), China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that Beijing "firmly opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan" and that to protect its national interests, the communist country "will impose sanctions on the main contractor of this arms sale Lockheed Martin."

Zhao then called on the U.S. to halt all arms sales and military ties with Taiwan "so as not to do further harm to China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait." Zhao also urged the U.S. to abide by the notion that Taiwan is somehow part of "one China."

In response, MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) issued a statement in which she said that China has recently continued to use military aggression to undermine regional peace and stability in an attempt to overthrow existing international norms and order. She said this not only threatens the freedom and democracy enjoyed by the people of Taiwan but that it has also concerned neighboring countries.

Ou said that Taiwan's external procurement of armaments and the strengthening of its self-defense capabilities are "necessary actions to maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait, and it is also a legitimate act to defend national sovereignty and democratic institutions." She said that China's "irrational criticism" cannot cover up its "aggressive and hegemonic nature" nor change Taiwan's determination to reject the "one country, two systems" framework.

She then emphasized that MOFA condemns the "irrational clamor and barbaric threat." Ou said that as an important country in the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan will resist repression and coercion from China in order to safeguard the universal values of democracy, freedom, and human rights.

In addition, Ou said that Taiwan will continue to strengthen its self-defense capabilities and deepen exchanges and cooperation with like-minded countries to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.