ISTANBUL – China on Wednesday criticized the US arms sale to Taiwan, saying it will take measures to defend the territorial integrity of the country.

“The Peoples Liberation Army will take all necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, thwart external interference and secessionist attempts, and promote reunification,” China’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Washington on Monday approved a fresh USD100 million sale of equipment and services to Taiwan aimed at upgrading the missile defense systems used by the self-ruled island nation.

The deal will include engineering “services support, designed to sustain, maintain, and improve” the island nation’s Patriot Air Defense System, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

“The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient (Taiwan) and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region,” a DSCA statement said.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said: "There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory."

"Taiwan's future lies in national reunification, and Taiwan's security depends on the joint efforts of compatriots on both sides of the strait under the one-China principle, not the US arms sales to Taiwan," he added.

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, told a news conference on Tuesday that the US arms sales “to the Taiwan region of China seriously violate the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués.”

“It gravely undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests, and severely harm China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China firmly opposes this and strongly condemns this,” he added.

It is the second military sale by the US to Taiwan since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

China claims Taiwan, an island nation of some 24 million people, as a breakaway province, while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949 and has diplomatic relations with at least 15 countries. (Anadolu)