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China calls on US to immediately stop military contact with Taiwan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Tan Kefei, a spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense

China has strongly objected to a potential sale of arms by the United States to Chinese Taipei, urging the US to immediately stop its military contact with the island.

A report said recently that US President Joe Biden planned to propose the sale of a $1.1 billion weapons package to Taipei that includes 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles.

On Tuesday, Chinese spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei strongly condemned US military contact with Taipei, vowing that the Chinese military forces would take strong measures to safeguard Beijing's interests.

"The US arms sales to China's Taiwan region are a blatant violation of the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques," he said.

The spokesman urged the US side to immediately cancel the arms sale and stop its military ties with Taipei.

"Taiwan is China's Taiwan, and the Taiwan question brooks no foreign interference. No one and no force can prevent the historical trend of complete reunification of the motherland," Tan said.

He said secessionists' plan to gain independence by buying weapons was doomed to fail.

The official noted that Chinese public opinion could not be defied and those who played with fire would be perished by it, adding that the People's Liberation Army had been training and preparing for war to resolutely defeat any form of external interference and efforts by secessionists in Taipei.

Meanwhile, tensions remain high between China and the US since a controversial visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei early last month.

A delegation of five French lawmakers and another group from the US Congress are expected to visit Taiwan this week. The visit by the French delegation would be the first by high-level Europeans following a string of trips by US officials and lawmakers that have drawn China's ire.

Taipei's foreign ministry said the French delegation would arrive on Wednesday for a 4-day visit. The delegation is scheduled to meet Vice President William Lai, it said.

Meanwhile, sources familiar with Taipei's planned meetings told Reuters that a bipartisan House delegation led by US Representative Stephanie Murphy, a Florida Democrat, was also due in Taiwan on Wednesday for a 2-day visit.

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