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China warns of ‘counter-measures’ over US arms sales to Taiwan

Beijing warned the U.S. that it will take “counter-measures” after the Biden administration approved more than $1 billion in arms sales to Taiwan.

“China will resolutely take legitimate and necessary counter-measures,” Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said in a tweet on Saturday.

He called on Washington to “immediately revoke” the sales.

The Biden administration on Friday formally notified the U.S. Congress of the proposed $1.1 billion arms package, which includes 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles.

China continues to send warships and aircraft into the Taiwan Strait after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the self-governing island a month ago. In response to Pelosi’s trip, Beijing launched unprecedented military drills around Taiwan.

The Democratic chair and ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee need to sign off on the sale before it can be finalized. 

Washington said the arms package complies with the One China policy outlined in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which stipulates that the U.S. would not establish formal diplomatic relations with Taipei. That act also created the “strategic ambiguity” doctrine whereby the U.S. remains purposely noncommittal about whether it would militarily defend Taiwan against an invasion.

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