'Don't bite more than you can chew,' says Beijing in response to Taiwan claims over weapons capability
Updated 22:51, 23-Oct-2020

Asked to comment on the recent claims from Taiwan authorities that its newly purchased weapons are capable of reaching the Chinese mainland, the spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office slammed such blatant military threats.

"They are biting off more than they can chew," said Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office. "We have firm faith, firm confidence, and adequate ability to safeguard national sovereignty."

It was again proved that "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces and their activities are a threat to the peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, she added.

The latest batch of proposed $1.8 billion arms sales from the United States would become the eighth to be approved during Donald Trump's presidency.

Despite repeated warnings from the Chinese mainland, officials from the U.S. and Taiwan have maintained close contact these past months. 

Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, July 21, 2019. /Xinhua

Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, July 21, 2019. /Xinhua

Last month's visit of the U.S. Under Secretary of State, Keith Krach, to Taiwan was significant as he was one of the most senior U.S. diplomats to visit since the termination of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the United States in 1979. 

"Against the background of China-U.S. strategic competition, the U.S. has pulled several tricks - such as arms sales to Taiwan, support for Taiwan's participation in international organizations, and mutual visits by high-level U.S. and Taiwan officials," commented Zhang Hua, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Beijing: We will take the 'necessary response'

On Thursday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said that China will take the necessary response in regards to Washington's potential arms sale to the Taiwan region.

China's Ministry of National Defense also voiced its strong opposition. The Chinese side will resolutely fight back if the U.S. side ignores the basic norms of international relations and is bent on behaving like this, the ministry said in a statement.

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. State Department approved the potential sale of three weapon systems to Taiwan, including sensors, missiles and artillery, totaling $1.8 billion.

"The U.S. is trying to test the bottom line of the Chinese mainland, step by step and little by little, to see where the true bottom line or red line is," former Taiwan Legislator Dr. Joanna Lei said on CGTN's debate show World Insight with Tian Wei.