The latest spat between the world’s biggest and third-biggest
economies threatens to add to a litany of other issues straining ties,
including the value of China’s currency, trade protectionism and internet freedoms
official China Daily said US weapons sales to the self-ruled and
democratic island “inevitably casts a long shadow on Sino-US relations”.
response, no matter how vehement, is justified. No country worthy of
respect can sit idle while its national security is endangered and core
interests damaged,” it said in an editorial
US decision not only runs counter to the common dream of pursuing
development and co-operation among the people on both sides of the
Taiwan Straits, but also exposes the US’s usage of double standards and
hypocrisy on major issues related to China’s core interests.”
considers Taiwan a breakaway province. Reflecting the intense emotions
over the issue, Chinese internet users vented anger with calls to
boycott top US exporter Boeing
and other companies supplying weapon systems for the arms sales.
has for years opposed US defence sales to Taiwan. For the first time,
however, Beijing sought to pressure the US by punishing those private
companies whose arms are involved in the Taiwan deals.
People’s Daily, the Communist party mouthpiece, said in a commentary
that the arms sales showed Washington’s “rude and unreasonable cold war
“When it comes down to it, the United States is still
drawing lines based on ideology and coming up with a million ways to
stymie China’s development and progress,” the paper’s overseas edition
“If the United States stubbornly persists in this cold war
thinking and ignores China’s core interests and grave concerns, the
United States will further damage the development of bilateral ties and
the great task of world peace. In the end, it will reap what it has
Yang Jiechi, Chinese foreign minister, said at the weekend
that Washington’s planned $6.4bn arms package had “damaged China’s
national security and great task of reunification (with Taiwan)”.
US should “truly respect China’s core interests and major concerns, and
immediately rescind the mistaken decision ... in order to avoid
damaging broader China-US relations”, Mr Yang said.
China said it
would impose unspecified sanctions on companies involved and reduce
international co-operation with the US unless it cancelled the new arms
Beijing planned to postpone or partially halt some
military co-operation, including a series of visits planned for this
year – among them, one by Robert Gates, US defence secretary – along
with meetings between top military commanders, and mutual visits by
naval ships, Xinhua news agency reported.
US officials sought to downplay the dispute on Saturday.
regret that the Chinese government has announced that it plans to
curtail military-to-military and other security-related exchanges and
take action against US firms,” said PJ Crowley, the state department’s
“We believe our policy contributes to stability and security in the region,” he said.
officials have said Taiwan, which lags China in the balance of military
power, needs updated weapons to give it more sway when negotiating with
Beijing, which Taiwan says has aimed more than 1,400 short-range and
mid-range missiles at the island.
Since 1949 when Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan after losing
the mainland to Communist rebels, Beijing has demanded Taiwan accept
unification, threatening to use force if necessary.
Times, a popular Chinese newspaper with a nationalist slant, and Sohu,
a Chinese web portal, have launched an online petition protesting the
It calls for boycotts of US goods and has bitter
denunciations of the US. Similar boycott calls for French and Japanese
goods over the past few years during times of political tension soon