A Taiwanese military soldier fires a US-made Stinger missile during the missile shooting exercises in Manzhou Township, Pingtung county, Taiwan, 04 July 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/RITCHIE B. TONGO

China protests after US announces military aid to Taiwan

Beijing, Aug 1 (EFE).- China on Tuesday lodged a formal complaint with the United States after the latter announced a military aid package worth $345 million for Taiwan, warning that the measure threatens “peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait.

Chinese defense ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei said in a statement that the aid package to Taiwan amounted to serious interference in China’s internal affairs and harmed the latter’s security interests and sovereignty.

The spokesperson said that the US aid poses a threat to peace in the Taiwan Strait and warned that China would resolutely defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Tan said that Beijing had opposed the move strongly and lodged a formal complaint with the US, urging Washington to stop “all forms of military collusion” with Taiwan.

The spokesperson claimed that “some people” in the US continue to instigate Taiwan’s independence along with separatist forces to provoke and intensify tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

The People’s Liberation Army is “paying close attention to the situation in the Taiwan Strait and is always on high alert,” he added.

On Friday, the US government had unveiled a memorandum signed by President Joe Biden and addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that authorized the shipping of military equipment from the Pentagon’s inventory to Taiwan.

US media reported that this was the first of its kind military aid to the island, being sent directly from the US department of defense, instead of the earlier practice of selling military equipment overseas.

The text did not reveal the items in the military aid package, but US media outlets have claimed that it includes intelligence and surveillance systems, firearms, missiles and portable air-defense systems known as MANPADS.

Taiwan is one of the main bone of contention between the US and China, as Washington is the main weapons supplier to Taipei, a fact which has generated constant and strong protests from Beijing.

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, a territory it considers a “rebel province” since Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the war against the communist army.  EFE