President Donald Trump and China got off on the wrong foot, even before the business mogul’s inauguration, and things have downhill ever since.
China, who likens themselves to a modern day “superpower”, was furious when President-elect Trump accepted a phone call from the leadership in Taiwan congratulating him on his 2016 electoral evisceration of Hillary Clinton.
In the ensuing months, a trade war developed between the two nations – a precarious hiccup for the prosperity of American agriculturalists.
Now the specter of Taiwan-China relations is again rearing its ugly head, this time after the White House diplomatically engaged with the Asian nation on a weapons deal.
The Trump administration is pushing ahead with a US$8 billion sale of 66 F-16 fighter aircraft to Taiwan, a move expected to add further tension to already strained relations between Beijing and Washington, according to two influential senators.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praised the administration for advancing the deal, which he said in a statement was “an important step in support of Taiwan’s self-defence efforts”.
The response from Beijing was predictably belligerent.
Beijing quickly registered its strong displeasure to the proposed contract involving the 66 Lockheed Martin F-16 Viper aircraft, which follows a US$2 billion agreement for 108 Abrams tanks and support equipment approved in July.
“China urges the US to fully recognise the highly sensitive and harmful nature of the relevant issue, abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, refrain from selling F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan and stop arms sales to and military contact with Taiwan,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a press briefing.
The Chinese government would go on to say that the United States shall “bear all consequences” of their actions.
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