China vows 'powerful' measures against US arms sale to Taiwan,

China vows 'powerful' measures against US arms sale to Taiwan,

US approves potential $500M sale of F-16 infrared systems to Taiwan, Beijing wants Washington to cancel plan

UPDATE WITH CHINA'S REMARK, CHANGE HEADLINE, DECK, LEAD

By Servet Gunerigok and Alperen Aktas

WASHINGTON/ISTANBUL (AA) - China on Thursday vowed "powerful" measures against the US over a recent sale of defense systems to Taiwan.

Urging Washington to cancel to the sale to the island nation, which Beijing sees as its own territory, China said it would "safeguard" its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called on the US to "stop the dangerous trend of arming the island," Beijing-based daily Global Times reported.

The US State Department approved the potential sale of F-16 Infrared Search and Track (IRST) systems and related equipment to Taiwan at an estimated cost of $500 million, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

Beijing "will take resolute, powerful measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Wang said.

The US Congress was notified earlier in the day of the possible sale, Pentagon said in a statement.

"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region," said the statement.

In March, the Biden administration approved an arms sale package worth around $619 million to Taiwan, which included F-16 munitions and related equipment.

China has repeatedly urged Washington to halt any military engagement with or arms sales to Taiwan. It has also sanctioned American defense contractors for selling weapons to the island nation.

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