Taiwan defends US arms deal after China sanctions threat

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Taiwan defends US arms deal after China sanctions threat
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-we, seated second from left, pose with participants at the U.S. Taiwan Business Summit, Friday July 12, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

TAIPEI (AP) — Taiwan has defended the proposed purchase of US$2.2 billion in arms from the U.S., following a Chinese announcement that it would sanction any American companies involved in the deal.

The defense ministry said on July 13 that U.S. weapons help strengthen Taiwan’s self-defense in the face of a growing military threat from China.

China said late Friday that the arms sales would undermine its sovereignty and national security and that it would impose sanctions on any U.S. enterprises involved in the deal.

The Trump administration announced the proposed sale earlier in the week. It would include 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger surface-to-air missiles.

China considers Taiwan a part of its territory. The self-governing island split from the mainland during a civil war in 1949.