China issued a strong statement against a planned sale of U.S. Oliver Hazard Perry frigates to Taiwan that was singed into U.S. law on Thursday.
The Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2013 — signed by President Obama on Thursday — allows up to four of the frigates to be sold to Taiwan.
The approval of the act drew accusation the sale violates China’s sovereignty as well as a 1982 understanding between the U.S. and China, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Qin Gang told reporters on Friday.
“The Chinese side is firmly opposed to the arms sales by the US to Taiwan. This position is steadfast, clear and consistent. The aforementioned act constitutes a grave breach of the spirit of the three joint communiqués between China and the US, especially that of the August 17 Communiqué, brutally interferes in China’s domestic affairs and undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests,” Qin said.
“[The U.S. should] stop official interactions and military exchanges with Taiwan, stop selling arms to Taiwan and do more that is conducive to the overall interests of China-US relations and the peaceful development of the cross-Straits relations, instead of the other way around.”
The predictable Chinese response also follows an announcement from Taiwanese Defense Minister David Lo earlier this month that the island national had set aside $176 million for the purchase of the first two ships.
“We have the budget approved to purchase two of the frigates,” Lo said, reported news wire Reuters.
“We hope the U.S. will not be influenced by threats from China.”
The act identified USS Taylor (FFG-50), USS Gary (FFG-51), USS Carr (FFG-52) and USS Elrod (FFG-55) as the ships approved for sale to Taiwan.
The ships would replace four U.S. built Kidd-class guided missile destroyer that joined the Taiwanese fleet in the early 2000s and join eight Taiwanese built Perry-class frigates.
Last month China also protested U.S. and Italian help in developing a fleet of six new mine counter measure (MCM) ships.