China Warns US as Taiwan Mulls Buying US Arms

Chinese officials say US playing with fire

Mounting tensions between the US and China are once again centering on the island of Taiwan, where China says the US is “playing with fire” after a recent visit by a cabinet-level official for the first time in over a generation.

US Health Secretary Alex Azar was visiting for Covid-19 talks, which would’ve been pretty easy to understand. China saw Azar’s visit to a shrine to Chiang Kai-Shek, however, as a much bigger issue.

Though the US doesn’t formally recognize Taiwan, it does sell them arms. To that end, Taiwan says they are interested in buying some sea mines and cruise missiles for coastal defense. Such sales almost always lead to Chinese threats, which lead to more interest in US arms.

All of this Taiwan tension usually happens in the background, but US-China tensions are getting so bad that almost everything is happening out in the open.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.