Wed, Jan 21, 2009 - Page 1 News List

PRC calls for better ties with US, cites Taiwan as a threat

AFP , BEIJING

Hours before Barack Obama’s inauguration as president, China called for stronger military ties with the US and said the key threats facing its national security were Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.

Ministry of Defense Spokesman Colonel Hu Changming (胡昌明) said there were “difficulties” in military relations between the two countries and expressed hope the situation would improve.

“In this new period we hope that both China and the US could make joint efforts to create favorable conditions and improve and promote military-to-military relations,” Hu told reporters.

Hu was responding to a question on planned US arms sales to Taiwan that resulted in China postponing a series of high-level military exchanges with the US last year.

Later yesterday, China’s Foreign Ministry reiterated a demand that the US end the sales.

“China is resolutely against the US sales of weapons to Taiwan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu (姜瑜) said.

Yesterday Hu said separatist forces in Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang remained major threats to China’s security and were top military priorities.

“Taiwan independence, East Turkestan, Tibetan independence and other separatist forces form a major security threat to the unity of the nation and a challenge to our security organs,” Hu said.

“On these issues there can be no compromise and no tolerance,” he said.

Hu was speaking at the launch of China’s National Defense in 2008 policy paper.

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