China has broken off military ties with the United States in protest at Washington’s decision to sell weapons to Taiwan.
In a strongly-worded statement broadcast on state television, the Defence Ministry said it had been ignored. It condemned what it called a “crude interference” in China’s domestic affairs which would cause severe harm.
Renmin University’s international relations expert, Professor Jin Canrong, says the US action will not be tolerated. “China hasn’t reacted before but it’s different now,” he said. “Beijing will make the Americans pay for their conduct.”
China, which considers Taiwan an illegitimate breakaway province, has now announced it will impose sanctions on US firms that sell arms.
The potential five-billion-euro package includes Black Hawk helicopters and Patriot anti-missile missiles.
Island officials have also asked the United States for F-16 fighter jets.
Ties are already strained by rows over trade and internet censorship.