Timing of China sanctions on US-Taiwan defense sales ‘absolutely important’

China has announced sanctions on five defense companies for arms sales to Taiwan, as Beijing steps up efforts to break US influence on the island ahead of Taiwan’s Jan. 13 election.

Arms sales from Washington to Taipei are a frequent source of tension between the US and China, which views self-ruled Taiwan as its own territory.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry statement warned the US to “stop arming Taiwan and stop targeting China with illegal unilateral sanctions,” a clear escalation of the US-China trade war.

He also argued that US arms sales were in “flagrant violation of the one China principle”.

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From GlobalData

The five companies named were; BAE Systems Land and Equipment, Alliant TechSystems Operation, Aerovironment, ViaSat and Data Link Solutions.

“A choice between peace or war”

These latest sanctions, which follow the US State Department’s approval of a $300 million sale of tactical intelligence equipment to Taiwan in December, are aimed at bolstering China’s Taiwan reunification strategy.

Announced less than a week before Taiwan’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, the timing of China’s sanctions is “absolutely significant,” according to Wilson Jones, Defense Analyst at GlobalData.

“Observers in Taiwan, China and the rest of the world see this election as necessary, as the winner will significantly influence cross-strait politics,” Jones said. Army Technology.

Military training have become increasingly common throughout the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea in recent months.

With former president Ma Ying-jeou describing the upcoming election as a “choice between peace or war”, China’s reunification is the main issue for many Taiwanese voters heading to the polls this weekend.

Party politics

Ying-jeou was a leader of the center-right Kuomintang (KMT) party that ruled Taiwan as a dictatorial one-party state until the 1990s and negotiated the one-China policy.

Meanwhile, the incumbent center-left Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rejected the one-China principle throughout President Tsai Ing-wen’s eight-year rule.

Ing-Wen has remained relatively moderate on the China question, but will not stand in the 2024 election, having completed her second term.

While the KMT and DPP are the two largest parties, the upstart Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) will also appear on the ballot.

“The DPP promotes Taiwan’s distinct identity from China, but has a mixed position on independence, with some members fully calling for it and some opposing it,” Jones added. “The TPP, which wants to break this two-party system, strongly favors independence.”

Whether the current economic war being waged by the US and China escalates after Taiwan’s election remains up for debate.

Strong words have been exchanged in recent weeks. Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his belief that Taiwan will “reunify” with China at his annual New Year’s Eve address.

Three days later, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu asserted that it is “a proven fact that Taiwan is a testing ground for China’s ambitions to exercise bad influence abroad” in a column of The Economist.

All eyes are now on Taiwan. Saturday’s election may concern a population of just 23.5 million people, but the far-reaching consequences look set to create ripples from the South China Sea to the Pacific.

Read the original at Defence247.gr

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