A Chinese official warns the United States against a warplane sale with Taiwan saying Beijing “will not sit idly by” if both sides go through with the $8 billion dollar deal.
A military official made those remarks on Thursday indicating Beijing may also take other measures as a form of retaliation, likely referring to sanctions.
His remarks come just one day after China warned the U.S. it will enact sanctions targeting American companies involved in selling warplanes to Taiwan as bilateral tension continues to spike.
Chinese officials issued the warning on Wednesday suggesting the U.S. should not go through with the $8 billion-dollar sale.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said if the U.S. halt military involvement with the island it will “bear all the consequences arising from it.”
The spokesperson went on to say, “China will take all necessary measures to safeguard its own interests, including imposing sanctions on U.S. companies involved in this arms sale to Taiwan.”
The U.S. State Department approved the sale of F16V fighter jets earlier this week, despite anticipated backlash from Chinese officials.
This comes a little over one month after The State Department approved a $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan despite expected Chinese backlash over the island’s sovereignty.
The State Department announced the deal included the sale of 250 Stinger missiles and 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2T Abrams tanks.
Taiwanese officials touted the move saying it will continue to enhance bilateral ties with the U.S. and will continue to invest in defense overall.
China considers Taiwan its own and slammed the move shortly after it was announced saying, “[It is] Crude interference in China’s internal affairs, harming China’s sovereignty and security interests.”
Although ties between the U.S. and Taiwan are unofficial, the U.S. is the island’s main arms supplier.