LONDON, England: Reflecting its increased willingness to support Taiwan, Britain approved a sharp increase in exports of submarine parts and technology to Taiwan as it upgrades its naval forces.
The value of licenses granted by the British government to companies for the export of submarine-related components and technology to Taiwan totaled a record $201.29 million during the first nine months of 2022, according to UK government export licensing data.
Beijing considers Taiwan part of China, known as its One-China policy, and strongly objects to perceived foreign interference with the island, believing it to be support for Taiwan's desire to be recognized as its own country.
When presented with the figures by Reuters, China's foreign ministry said in a statement, "If this is true, it is a serious violation of the One-China principle, undermines China's sovereignty and security interests, and undermines peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."
"China is highly concerned about this and firmly opposes it," said the written statement, which urged Britain to "refrain from providing military support to the Taiwan authorities."
Britain does not recognize Taiwan and has no formal diplomatic relations with the island, but it maintains economic and trade ties and there is a de facto British embassy in Taipei.
A British government spokesperson said in a statement that the UK has a long record of "granting licenses for exports of controlled goods to Taiwan, on a case-by-case basis, where those applications are consistent with the rules that regulate the exports of arms and dual-use products."
The data was compiled from the Export Control Organisation, which is responsible for export licensing and sits within the UK Department for International Trade.
Meanwhile, the British government has announced a boost to overall defense spending as it unveiled an update to its defense, security and foreign policy priorities, setting out how it plans to "tackle new threats" from China and Russia.