The United States should immediately revoke its planned sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan or accept the possible consequences, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after U.S. President Donald Trump was quoted in reports as saying he had given a green light to the $8 billion deal.
Trump said he had approved the deal in New Jersey late last week, Taipei-based Central News Agency reported on Monday.
Speaking at a news conference in Beijing on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he was aware of the reports, and repeated China's firm opposition to the planned sale.
China has lodged solemn representations several times to the U.S. over the sale, which gravely violates the one-China principle and the stipulations in the three China-U.S. joint communiques, Geng said.
The move also constitutes serious interference in China's domestic affairs and undermines China's sovereignty and security interests, Geng said.
The Taiwan question concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as its core interests, and China is firmly determined to safeguard its sovereignty and security, Geng said. He urged the U.S. to understand fully the serious hazard brought by the issue of its arms sales to Taiwan.
Also, the U.S. should "immediately cancel the planned sale and cut its arms sales to and military ties with Taiwan, or it must bear all the consequences", Geng said, adding that China will take necessary steps to safeguard its interests as the situation develops.
Also on Monday, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, urged the U.S. to immediately stop the planned arms sale to Taiwan and refrain from sending a "seriously erroneous signal" to Taiwan secessionists.
"Nobody should underestimate our will and ability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said, adding that Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party, the ruling party of the island, have sacrificed the interests of people across the Taiwan Straits to pay a hefty "protection fee" and become "pawns" of the U.S.. In the end, they will be forever engraved on the wall of shame in history, he said.
The U.S. deal involves 66 F-16V fighter jets, and would be the first such sale to Taiwan since 1992 if approved by the U.S. Congress.