U.S. announces arms sale to Taiwan in violation of commitment to Beijing

14:34, January 30, 2010      

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In disregard of strong opposition from Beijing, the Obama administration on Friday announced plans to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan.

Washington recognizes Beijing's position that Taiwan is part of China.

The arms sale would include 114 Patriot (PAC-3) anti-missile systems, 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, 12 Harpoon Block II Telemetry missiles, 2 Osprey Class mine hunting ships and a command and control enhancement system, according to a Pentagon website.

China immediately expressed "strong indignation" about the sale after the U.S. government notified the U.S. Congress of the plans to sell the weapons worth about 6.4 billion dollars .

The arms sale is "crude interference in China's internal affairs and seriously harms China's national security and China's peaceful reunification efforts," said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei.

The new arms sale would jeopardize China-U.S. relations and have a seriously negative impact on many important areas of exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, he said.

The arms sale constitutes another violation of the solemn U.S. commitment made in the three joint communiques between China and the United States, especially the "August 17 Communique" signed in 1982. The U.S. side states in the communique that "it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan" and "intends to reduce gradually its sales of arms to Taiwan, leading over a period of time to a final resolution."

The Chinese government and people have firmly opposed any U.S. arms sales to Taiwan because such moves seriously damage China's core national interests and China-U.S. relations as well.

In 2008, China curtailed military exchanges with the United States after the then Bush administration approved a 6.5-billion-dollar arms deal with Taiwan, including 30 Apache attack helicopters and 330 Patriot missiles.

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