Sat, May 17, 2008 - Page 1 News List

US criticizes Chinese missile buildup

WAITING GAME Despite saying that Washington would continue to sell Taipei defensive arms, John Negroponte said sales of F-16s would not happen soon

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

Pressed by Murkowski about the issue, Negroponte said: “It is not an offer at this particular time.”

Noting the presidential election in Taiwan, he added: “They are in the middle of a political transition in Taiwan, so we’ll have to await developments there.”

Murkowski complained that she had sent a letter on the F-16s to national security advisor Stephen Hadley in October, but had not received a response.

On Taiwan’s incoming administration, Negroponte said the US looked forward to working with Taiwan and the incoming administration of president-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on the basis of the Taiwan Relations Act and the three US-China communiques.

“With the inauguration of Ma Ying-jeou on May 20 we will have safely navigated a tense period in cross-strait relations,” he said.

Additional reporting by AFP

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