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China warns US over arms deal with Taiwan, says don’t play with fire

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Beijing, July 12: China’s top diplomat Wang Yi has warned the United States that it should “not to play with fire” and declared that it would impose sanctions on US companies involved in a potential arms sale worth $2.2billion  to self-ruled Taiwan.

The planned weapons sale, the first transfer of big-ticket US military gear to democratically-governed Taiwan in decades, came as ties between Washington and Beijing are already strained by their trade war.

“The US arms sale to Taiwan has severely violated the basic norms of international law and international relations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement on Friday.

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi said no foreign force could stop the reunification of China.The US Department of State said there was no change to their “one China” policy.

In a four-sentence statement, the ministry said that US arms sales to Taiwan harmed China’s sovereignty and national security, but did not provide any details about the sanctions.

The US State Department has approved the possible sale to Taiwan of M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment at an estimated value of $2.8 billion, the Pentagon said on Monday (local time), despite Chinese criticism of the deal.

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