Asia/Pacific

China rips US over new sanctions, arms sale to Taiwan

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Chinese officials on Tuesday blasted the U.S. over a new round of sanctions against Beijing officials and an additional sale of military hardware to Taiwan, which China does not recognize as independent.

The announced sanctions apply to 14 Chinese lawmakers and bars them from either traveling to the U.S. or using its financial system, according to The Associated Press. It comes in the wake of the passage of a Hong Kong national security law that international critics have said significantly erodes the city’s autonomy.

Washington previously applied similar sanctions to Chinese and Hong Kong officials over both the national security law and human rights abuses against the predominantly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said China would respond to the sanctions with “resolute and forceful countermeasures and resolutely defend its sovereignty, security and development interests,” according to the AP.

He also vowed a “proper and necessary response” to the $280 million military equipment sale to Taiwan. The Trump administration has signed off on 11 such sales to the island, while also developing closer diplomatic and military ties with the nation. In the meantime, China has increased its military flights in Taiwan’s vicinity, according to the AP.

A Chinese foreign ministry official called the U.S. move “bullying.”

“This bullying by the United States once again reveals its evil intention to create chaos in Hong Kong and harm China’s sovereignty and security,” the spokesman said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Taiwan welcomed the move.

“Taiwan has been at the receiving end of such military threats on a daily basis,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen told the press Tuesday, according to the AP. “Only through engagement and by working together can we tackle the threats and challenges that beset our region and the world.”

Earlier this year the Trump administration forced the closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston and just last week cut visas for family members of China’s ruling Communist Party to one month instead of 10 years. 

Tags arms sale China Joe Biden National security sanctions Taiwan

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