The Chinese government indicated Tuesday it is still angry over a nearly $6.5 billion U.S. arms sale to Taiwan that was announced in Washington Friday.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu warned that the sale will hurt Sino-American relations.
Ma says the United States disregarded China’s firm opposition to the arms sale to Taiwan. He says the sale will have a serious negative effect on Sino-American exchanges and cooperation on many issues, and could lead to what he describes as “unwelcome consequences.”
He also stresses that China intends to pass what he describes as sanctions on the U.S. companies involved in the arms sale.
He did not name any companies or specify what the sanctions would entail. But some companies that could be affected include Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing.
China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has vowed to take the separately governed island back, by force, if necessary. The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but has said it will help the island defend itself.
China immediately responded to the latest arms sale by suspending military exchanges with Washington.
In another Sino-American military issue, Ma says China is dissatisfied with the U.S. Defense Department’s just released Quadrennial Defense Review. The report analyzes strategic objectives and potential military threats to the United States.
It details China’s recent military build-up, and says a lack of transparency raises questions about Beijing’s intentions.
Ma calls those comments cliché and says China’s defense buildup is normal. He also says the U.S. report interferes in China’s internal affairs and says it will mislead public opinion.
Sino-American relations are being strained by several other issues. They include a possible meeting between President Barack Obama and Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, as well as U.S. concern over Internet censorship in China.
Stephanie Ho | Beijing