Tue, Sep 18, 2007 - Page 4 News List

China protests US weapons sales to Taiwan

AFP , BEIJING

A Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft flies at low altitude in Nordholz, Germany, on July 10.

PHOTO: EPA

China yesterday protested against proposed US$2.2 billion US weapons sales to Taiwan, urging Washington to cancel the deal and end its ties with the Taiwanese military.

"The Chinese side strongly opposes the sales of weapons to Taiwan by the US government," a foreign ministry spokeswoman said. "This constitutes rude interference in China's internal affairs. The Chinese side strongly protests against this and has raised solemn representations with the United States."

ARMS PACKAGE

The Pentagon announced last week possible sales to Taiwan of a dozen Lockheed P-3C Orion anti-submarine patrol aircraft and SM-2 anti-aircraft missiles.

"The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance and economic progress in the region," the US Defense Security and Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

VIOLATION

The Chinese foreign ministry said the sales violated US commitments to respect Beijing as the sole legal government of all of China, including Taiwan, and to gradually end weapons sales.

"We urge the US side to implement with real actions its solemn commitments on the Taiwan issue, immediately cancel the weapons sales to the Taiwan military, end all weapons sales and contacts with the Taiwanese side and stop sending wrong signals to Taiwan," she said. "The Chinese side reserves the right to adopt further measures."

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