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WorldChina holds drills in Taiwan Strait, calls for sanctions against US companies

13:07  15 july  2019
13:07  15 july  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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China to sanction US companies selling weapons to Taiwan . Kee Lung (DDG-1801) guided-missile destroyer (R) and navy vessels take part in a military drill near Hualien, Taiwan © Reuters “To safeguard our national interests, China will impose sanctions on the US enterprises involved in the

China 's southeast coast, where the drills were held , is one of the country's most sensitive regions as it faces Taiwan across the narrow Taiwan Strait . The developments are likely to prompt China to step up its assertive ways. China has in recent years expanded its military drills in response to the United

China holds drills in Taiwan Strait, calls for sanctions against US companies© STR/AFP/Getty Images This aerial photo taken on January 2, 2017 shows a Chinese navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (C), during military drills in the South China Sea. The aircraft carrier is one of the latest steps in the years-long build-up of China's military, as Beijing seeks greater global power to match its economic might and asserts itself more aggressively in its own backyard. / AFP / STR / China OUT (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

China held military drills off the coast of Taiwan as tensions rise between Beijing and Washington over US support for the island that China views as a part of its territory.

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© Zhong Yuhang/People's Liberation Army China 's armed forces have launched air and naval drills in the disputed waters of the Taiwan Strait , where the United States criticized what it perceived as a provocation against a Pacific partner. In a statement published Monday

China deems democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province, to be taken by force if needed. On Friday, China said it would impose sanctions on U . S . firms China has in recent years stepped up its military drills around Taiwan , including regularly flying what Beijing calls “island encirclement” exercises and

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) announced in a statement Sunday that the military exercises off China's "southeast coast" involved both the navy and the air force, but provided few other details.

Both Beijing and Taipei tried to downplay the drills, with the PLA describing the exercises as "a routine arrangement according to (our) annual plans."

However, they come amid tension between the Beijing and Washington over a $2.2 billion US arms sale to Taiwan, and also coincide with a trip by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to the United States as she prepares to shore up support among the island's allies in the Caribbean.

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On Friday, China said it would impose sanctions on US firms involved in a deal to sell .2bn worth of tanks, missiles and related equipment to Taiwan , saying it harmed China 's sovereignty and national security. That announcement came as Taiwanese President Tsai

China was scheduled to hold military drills in the Taiwan Strait Wednesday, flexing its military muscle after warning Taipei about seeking China said the US should stop official exchanges with Taiwan to avoid "damaging Sino- US relations". Alyssa Milano calls for sex strike as protest over abortion laws.

On Friday, China threatened to impose sanctions against any US companies who sold weapons to Taiwan.

Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai made it clear on Friday on Twitter that any attempts by the US government to "split" Taiwan from China would provoke a swift response.

"Those who play with fire will only get themselves burned. Period," he tweeted.

'Hot-button issue'

The US State Department gave its approval of the multibillion-dollar arms deal with Taiwan on July 8, which includes 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles.

In response, China's Foreign Ministry said it would impose sanctions on any companies selling arms to Taiwan, although it didn't single any out by name.

Speaking on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he wasn't in a position to "disclose more details" at present.

"Please believe that China always keeps its promises and its actions always produce results," he said.

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China deems democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province, to be taken by force if needed. On Friday, China said it would impose sanctions on U . S . firms China has in recent years stepped up its military drills around Taiwan , including regularly flying what Beijing calls “island encirclement” exercises and

On Friday, China said it would impose sanctions on U . S . firms involved in a deal to sell .2 billion (1.74 billion pounds) worth of tanks, missiles and China has in recent years stepped up its military drills around Taiwan , including regularly flying what Beijing calls "island encirclement" exercises and

Among the companies that could be affected would be Raytheon Missile Systems, who make the Stingers, or General Dynamics Land Systems, who are responsible for the Abrams tanks.

"In order to safeguard national interests, China will impose sanctions on US companies involved in the arms sales to Taiwan," spokesman Geng said Friday.

La Trobe University associate professor James Leibold said that Taiwan was being used as a bargaining chip by both US and China and the threat of sanctions showed Beijing felt ready to escalate the issue.

Taiwan was becoming more of a "hot-button issue" for both governments due to a push for closer relations from Washington, said Leibold.

"Clearly some in the Trump administration want to strengthen the alliance with Taiwan, and as we all know the Taiwan issue has always been a deeply sensitive one for the People's Republic of China," he said.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, which saw the Communist Party take control of the mainland and the Nationalist government forced to flee to the island.

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China is scheduled to hold live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait Wednesday, flexing its military muscle after warning Taipei about seeking independence or closer ties with Washington. It is the first such exercise in the waterway since 2016, and it coincides with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen'.

BEIJING, China – China was scheduled to hold live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait Wednesday, April 18, flexing its The drill "is part of Beijing's psychological warfare against Taiwan , and possibly a China said the US should stop official exchanges with Taiwan to avoid "damaging Sino- US relations."

But Beijing still views the island as their territory and has worked consistently for decades to try to threaten or cajole it into rejoining with the mainland.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has regularly called for the reunification of Taiwan, even refusing to rule out force in a major speech in January.

In the past year, China has ramped up its military exercises around the island. It held live fire drills in the Taiwan Strait in 2018, while Chinese fighter jets crossed the maritime border separating the island from the mainland in a rare incursion in April.

Taiwan's Ministry of Defense said that the PLA's drills on Sunday were "nothing more than routine exercises," according to Taiwan's news agency CNA, adding that the island's military was ready to respond to any threats.

Taiwan president defiant

The rise in tensions comes amid a visit to the US by Taiwan President Tsai on her way to visit the island's allies in the Caribbean.

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announcing sanctions against American companies involved in arms sales to the self-ruled island and reaffirming the eventual "reunification" of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in the U . S ., Wang said, adding that China firmly opposes any official contact between the U . S . and Taiwan "in any form."

China deems democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province, to be taken by force if needed. On Friday, China said it would impose sanctions on U . S . firms China has in recent years stepped up its military drills around Taiwan , including regularly flying what Beijing calls “island encirclement” exercises and

Tsai is spending an unusually long stopover of four nights in the country, including two nights in New York. There is no confirmation of what meetings she is expected to have while in the country.

Her visit alone was enough to antagonize the Chinese government, which opposes any official contact between Washington and Taipei.

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“The US arms sale to Taiwan has severely violated the basic norms of international law and international relations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in an online statement. “In order to safeguard national interests, China will impose sanctions on US enterprises participating

"Allowing Tsai to 'stop over' violates the #oneChina principle ... China urges the US to properly handle the Taiwan issue to prevent damaging China US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," China's embassy in the US said on its official Twitter Friday.

But Tsai hasn't been deterred by the Chinese government's opposition, holding a public meeting with representatives of Taiwan's remaining 17 allies in New York.

"Taiwan will firmly defend our democratic system. Our democracy has not come easily and is now facing the threat and penetration of overseas forces," said Tsai, implicitly criticizing Beijing. On her way back to Taipei, Tsai will stop over in Denver, Colorado.

While in the Caribbean, Tsai will visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Haiti.

Taiwan's leader has taken an increasingly strident anti-China stance ahead of the national election in January 2020 where she will seek re-election.

It was announced on Monday that she will face opposition Kuomintang presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu, who won his party's nomination with 44% of the vote.

Despite being viewed as more pro-Beijing than Tsai, Han appeared to take a harder stance against further integration with the mainland in June, amid increasingly heated protests in Hong Kong.

"'One Country, Two Systems' can never be implemented in Taiwan. Taiwanese people can never accept it, unless it's over my dead body," Han told a rally in June.

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U.S. Navy warship sails through strategic Taiwan Strait.
The U.S. military said on Wednesday it sent a Navy warship through the Taiwan Strait, a move likely to anger China during a period of tense relations between Washington and Beijing. © 2019 Gallo Images (PTY) LTD TAIWAN STRAIT - 29 OCTOBER, 2018: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) The Strait of Taiwan, located between the coast of southeast China and Taiwan. (Photo by Gallo Images / Orbital Horizon/Copernicus Sentinel Data 2019) Taiwan is among a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, which include a trade war, U.S.

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