The Chinese military strongly opposes the U.S. selling F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, calling the action a "complete mistake" and "very dangerous", a spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense said on Friday night.
The U.S. State Department approved a potential $8 billion arms package — featuring 66 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets, 75 General Electric engines and other support systems — to Taiwan, according to a statement by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Tuesday.
If approved by the U.S. Congress, the deal will be one of the largest of its kind in recent decades and the first time since 1992 that the U.S. has sold F-16s to Taiwan. The deal has drawn heavy criticism from the Foreign Ministry and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesman of the Defense Ministry, said in a statement released on Friday night that the arms deal seriously violates the one-China principle and the three joint communiques between China and the United States, seriously interferes in China's domestic affairs and damages China's sovereignty and security interests.
It also seriously undermines China-U.S. military to military relations and bilateral ties, as well as damages the peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits region, according to Wu.
"The Chinese side urges the U.S. side to fully comprehend the severity of selling arms to Taiwan, and clearly evaluate the situation," Wu said, adding that China asked the U.S. to immediately stop the arms deal and any military ties with Taiwan, so as to avoid serious harm to China-U.S. military to military relation and bilateral ties, as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.