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International relations

China demands US scrap $2.2bn arms deal with Taiwan

Planned sale risks complicating delicate Beijing-Washington trade talks

The U.S. plans to sell 108 Abrams tanks to Taiwan as part of the $2.2 billion deal.   © Reuters

TAIPEI/BEIJING -- China urged the U.S. on Tuesday to cancel a planned $2.2 billion sale of arms to Taiwan, adding a new wrinkle to the trade tensions between the two countries following a truce reached at the end of last month.

The U.S. should "immediately withdraw ... arms sales to and sever military ties with Taiwan to avoid further damage to bilateral relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said. He cited the "One China" principle as well as joint communiques inked with Washington.

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