China Warns U.S. of 'Dire Consequences' Over Taiwan Arms Sales

China has warned the United States of "dire consequences" following yet another multibillion dollar arms sale to Taiwan—the second in the space of a week.

The latest round of proposed weapons purchases are to an estimated tune of $2.37 billion, according to the DOD's Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Under provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act, the self-ruled democratic island is to receive 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems and up to 400 surface-launched missiles, which are capable of reaching across the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait.

This is the second weapons deal with Taipei in a week, following the announcement of SLAM-ER missile sales estimated at over $1 billion.

Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, said at a press conference Tuesday that the U.S. had to cease arms sales to Taiwan, and that it was risking peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

In almost word-for-word remarks, the near-identical statement mirrored a foreign ministry spokesperson's comments on Monday when China announced sanctions against U.S. defense companies including Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense and Raytheon for their part in the arms deals.

Ren called the U.S. government's repeated sanctioning of arms sales to Taiwan a "severe violation of the One-China principle and the China–U.S. Three Communiqués," which form the basis of Washington and Beijing's understanding of Taiwan's political status.

"U.S. arms sales to Taiwan seriously interfere in China's internal affairs, and undermine China's national sovereignty and security interests," Ren said.

He called on the U.S. to stop further arms sales to Taiwan, adding: "China urges the U.S. to handle Taiwan-related issues prudently in order to avoid dire consequences for state-to-state and military-to-military relations between China and the U.S."

The People's Liberation Army has the "resolve, confidence and ability" to defeat foreign interference of any kind and any attempts at "Taiwan independence" separatism, Ren said.

Tensions in the Taiwan Strait are at their highest point since the 1990s, with President Tsai Ing-wen seemingly relying on the Trump administration to counter further Beijing aggression.

In a recent interview, Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu said he had "no doubt" China was building up its military in order to target Taiwan.

Taipei and Beijing have held their own live-fire drills in and around the Taiwan Strait, and Chinese warplanes have flown into Taiwan-controlled airspace in record numbers since September.

US Navy harpoon missiles
File photo: U.S. Navy harpoon cruise missile launchers. NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images