Will not sit idly by
China reacts as US military ship passes through strategic Taiwan Strait
BEIJING, Aug 23: China "will not sit idly by" if the US proceeds with a sale of advanced F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan, a Chinese general said, while warning of other potential countermeasures in addition to punishing foreign firms involved in the deal.
"China will not sit idly by," Chen said Thursday at a forum sponsored by China's official journalists' association. "Of course, we don't rule out additional measures."
Beijing has repeatedly said it will levy sanctions against U.S. companies linked to a planned $8 billion sale and demanded Washington cancel it immediately. China has made such threats regarding previous arms sales by the U.S., but they've had limited effect because the companies involved are either important to China's own nascent commercial aviation industry or have little or no business with the country.
The United States sent a Navy ship through the Taiwan Strait on Friday, rekindling one of a growing number of flashpoints in Washington's relationship with Beijing. The U.S. military has increased the frequency of its transport movements through the strategic waterway in the face of opposition from China.
Friday's voyage risks further raising bilateral tensions stoked by a bitter trade war, but will likely be viewed by self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from the administration of President Donald Trump.
This month China denounced arms sales from the United States to Taiwan and in July said it was ready for war if there was any move by Taiwan towards independence.