The Obama administration announced the sale Friday of $6 billion worth
of Patriot anti-missile systems, helicopters, mine-sweeping ships and
communications equipment to Taiwan in a long-expected move that sparked
an angry protest from China.
The sale, formally announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency,
is expected to prompt China to slow or even break military relations
with the United States and cancel a visit by President Hu Jintao to
Washington in April. Chinese officials have threatened other actions,
including sanctions on the U.S. companies supplying the equipment or on
businesses in the districts of congressional lawmakers known to be
backers of Taiwan.
Its vice minister of foreign affairs, He Yafei, said China was “strongly
indignant” about the arms sales to Taiwan and warned that they would
have a “serious negative impact” on U.S.-China cooperation.