China asks U.S. to avoid further damaging bilateral ties, refutes military link with hacking

21:32, February 25, 2010      

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China on Thursday asked the United States to avoid damaging bilateral relations further and also said it would not change its decision to suspend the planned mutual visits between the Chinese and U.S. militaries after the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan in late January.

China had decided to suspend scheduled visits between the Chinese and U.S. armed forces, in response to Washington's plan to sell an arms package worth about 6.4 billion U.S. dollars to Taiwan. The Taiwan issue is a core concern to China.

China also said it would impose sanctions against those U.S. companies involved in the arms sale.

"The U.S. arms sale to Taiwan seriously threatens China's national security, damages China's core interests, greatly disturbs the relations between the two countries and the two militaries, and tremendously harms overall China-U.S. cooperation as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," said Defense Ministry spokesman Huang Xueping in a statement.

"Therefore, China has decided to suspend the planned visits between the Chinese and U.S. militaries. Our position has not changed," said Huang, without specifying exact visits.

"We demand the U.S. side fully respect China's core interests and security concerns," he said.

The U.S. arms sale has cast a shadow over the military relations between China and the Untied States, which have seen a warming since U.S. President Barack Obama took office.

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