France on Wednesday rejected warnings from China regarding its government's decision of selling arms to Taiwan, that Beijing claims as its own territory and demands no military exchange of any sort with it. France said that China should focus on handling the COVID-19 pandemic adding that it was just fulfilling its contractual obligations with Taiwan and it followed a 'one China' policy as agreed with Beijing in 1994. According to reports, Taiwan was seeking an upgrade to its warship fleet that it bought from France 30 years ago.
Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday responded saying that it firmly opposes other countries selling arms to the Taiwan region or keeping any military relations with the self-ruled island nation. "Our position is consistent and clear: we firmly oppose other countries selling arms to the Taiwan region or conducting military exchange with it. We have expressed grave concerns to the French side. Once again we urge the French side to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and withdraw its arms sales plan to avoid more damage to China-France relations," foreign affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian said while responding to a question regarding the French government's plan to sell weapons to Taiwan.
China has been on the receiving end regarding Taiwan in the recent past, with the international community demanding Taipei's entry into global organisations like the United Nations and World Health Organisation. The self-governing island republic considers itself as sovereign while China claims the province as Beijing’s territory under its one-China policy. The issue of Taiwan’s participation in international organisations become more prominent after US President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act into law on March 26. The TAIPEI Act, authored by US Senators Cory Gardner and Chris Coons, aimed at strengthening Taiwan’s standing around the world.
(Image Credit: AP)