China warns it will cut ties with US firms that sell weapons to Taiwan

China warns it will cut ties with US firms that sell weapons to Taiwan
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China warned Monday that its government and companies will cut ties with American businesses that sell weapons to Taiwan, Reuters reported.

“China’s government and Chinese companies will not cooperate or have commercial contacts with these U.S. companies,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters, calling arm sales a violation of international law that harms China’s sovereignty and national security.

The State Department last week approved the sale of over $2 billion in arms to Taiwan.

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The order includes 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, which are manufactured by Raytheon. 

Geng did not specify how or at what level China would sanction U.S. companies involved in the deal.

“I can’t reveal the details at the moment. But believe this — Chinese people always stress standing by their word," he said, according to Reuters.

Taiwan, which considers itself a sovereign state with a democratic government, is viewed by China as a breakaway province.

The U.S. does not recognize Taiwan as a separate government because of its acknowledgment of Beijing's "One China" policy, but has supported the island through arms sales and is bound by law to help Taiwan defend itself.

The conflict over arms sales, which also flared up in 2010 and 2015, comes amid heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

The two countries have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs as negotiations continue.