Thu, Aug 18, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Biden will not discuss US arms sales to Taiwan: Ma

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to China would not change the US’ promise on arm sales to Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday.

“Our friends in the US have informed us that the US’ promise to us will not change. More specifically, the US will not negotiate with China about arms sales to Taiwan, and its six undertakings to the Republic of China remain in place,” Ma said when meeting with representatives of US-China Economic and Security Review Commission at the Presidential Office.

Biden began his visit to China, Mongolia and Japan yesterday, with the main goal being to build a relationship by arranging for a reciprocal visit to the US by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平).

White House officials have promised that Biden will not discuss US arms sales to Taiwan during his visit to China.

Ma, who is seeking re-election in January, has dismissed suggestions that the US would cancel the F16C/D sale to Taiwan. He described the US as Taiwan’s most important partner and one that has maintained close and extensive cooperation in a number of areas, ranging from economics to education and national defense. Ma said he fully expected the US to facilitate arms sales to Taiwan.

“The balance of military power across the Taiwan Strait has tilted toward China and my administration has expressed its desire to purchase F-16C/D fighters from the US in order to maintain national security in Taiwan,” he said.

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