Taiwan missile deal: China slaps sanctions on top US arms firm
PIC: flickr

China on Tuesday announced sanctions on top American arms manufacturing firm Lockheed Martin in a retaliation to the US State Department's approval of a request by Taiwan for the recertification of PAC-3 air defence missiles built by the company.

"China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan. We urge US to earnestly abide by the One-China principle, stop selling arms to Taiwan and cut its military ties with Taiwan, so that it will not cause further harm to bilateral ties, peace and security across the Taiwan straits," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here.

His remarks comes days after the US State Department last week approved Taiwan's request for the recertification of its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) air defence missiles at an estimated cost of USD 620 million.

Meanwhile, Refuting US allegations of building a "maritime empire" in the disputed South China Sea, China on Tuesday claimed its jurisdiction over the vast ocean existed for more than 1,000 years and accused Washington of attempting to sow discord between Beijing and the Southeast Asian countries.

In a major policy speech on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the world will not allow China to treat the strategically important South China Sea (SCS) as its "maritime empire" and vowed to support worried Southeast Asian countries against Beijing's "campaign of bullying" to control the resource-rich region.

Reacting to Pompeo's statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing in Beijing that the secretary of state's remarks neglected the history and facts about the SCS.

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