Nauert said the sales showed the U.S. "support for Taiwan's ability to maintain a sufficient self-defence capability", but there was no change to the US' long-standing "one China" policy, which recognises Beijing and not Taipei. The State Department has approved arms sales to Taiwan worth a total of $1.4 billion, the first such deal with the self-governing island since President Donald Trump took office, officials said June 29, 2017.
Chinese officials, however, say this was all already discussed at Mar-a-Lago back in April, when President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for the first time, and that the two had reached "a consensus" which this arms sale is violating.
China slammed the United States on Friday for its decision to slap unprecedented sanctions on a Chinese bank accused of laundering North Korean cash. "While we will continue to seek global cooperation on North Korea, the United States is sending an emphatic message across the globe that we will not hesitate to take action against persons, companies, and financial institutions who enable this regime", he said.
The last USA arms sales to Taiwan, worth 1.83 billion United States dollars, was authorised by the Obama administration in December 2015.
The package includes technical support for early warning radar, high speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components.
China is not doing enough on North Korea which continues to violate worldwide norms by conducting nuclear and missile tests, US National Security Advisor Lt Gen H R McMaster has said. The U.S. has also spoken out against unfair trade practices, and is gearing up to press China at the G-20 to work toward resolving the country's oversupply of steel.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington declared on Friday that "the Chinese government and Chinese people have every right to be outraged" over the arms deal.
Taiwan "will not yield even one inch of land" when it comes to national defense, Tsai said.
Trump had been leaning on President Xi Jinping to help stop the North's development of nuclear weapons before they can threaten the US homeland.
"I think it took a major change, a major step for the worse yesterday", Hayman Capital Management's founder and chief investment officer, Kyle Bass, said on CNBC's "Squawk Box".
The island has received US arms for more than three decades, but the current Chinese outrage appeared amplified by feelings that Trump might have taken a difference course after his talks with Xi.
The US is Taiwan's most powerful ally and arms supplier despite having no official relations with Taipei after switching recognition to Beijing in 1979.
"While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out".
Mnuchin made clear in his announcement, "we are in no way targeting China with these actions".
China has also, as of late, intercepted USA aircraft in situations deemed "unsafe and unprofessional" by US defense officials.
File image of U.S. president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping.
In a move that seemed to portend a shift in United States policy, President-elect Trump spoke to Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-Wen in a phone call in December, upending decades of diplomatic protocol.
United States officials told Reuters this week that Trump was growing increasingly frustrated with China over its inaction on North Korea and bilateral trade issues, and is now considering possible trade actions against Beijing.