Last month’s decision by the United States to sell $6.4 billion worth of arms and military supplies to Taiwan “will not affect steadily improving ties between Taipei and Beijing,” according to Chiang Pin-kung, Taiwan’s top China negotiator. The deal “should not have any impact on ongoing China talks and the future development of bilateral ties,” he added.
China’s reaction, however, was much less sanguine. Beijing immediately suspended military exchanges with Washington and threatened sanctions against the military contractors supplying the war matériel to Taiwan. And on Monday a group of Chinese military officers, in state-controlled media interviews, urged China to increase its defense spending and deploy additional troops to offset the new agreement between the United States and Taiwan.