U.S. arms sales to Taiwan detrimental to Sino-U.S. relations

07:16, January 12, 2010      

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The U.S. Defense Department announced on January 6 the approval of a plan of Lockheed Martin Corp. to sell Patriot III missiles to Taiwan. Although it was a step to implement the huge-scale arms sales package announced by the George W. Bush administration in October 2008, such a move only about one month after U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to China tarnished the China-U.S. ties.

The U.S. side is fully aware that the Taiwan issue is related to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and involves China's core interests and the national sentiment of 1.3 billion Chinese people.

The China-U.S. Joint Statement clearly pointed out that "the fundamental principle of respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity is at the core of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques which guide China-U.S. relations. Neither side supports any attempt by any force to undermine this principle. The two sides agreed that respecting each other's core interests is extremely important to ensure steady progress in China-U.S. relations."

The words were fixed in history. However, the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan fully justified any suspicion about the United States' sincerity to take concrete actions to "respect each other's core interests."

It is evident that China's cross-Straits relationship has achieved breakthrough and has been oriented onto the track of peaceful development thanks to joint efforts made by the Chinese compatriots across the Taiwan Straits in recent years. To support expanded exchange and cooperation and to wish for peaceful development of the cross-Straits relationship increasingly represent the mainstream of the public opinion in Taiwan and have become the universal consensus among the Chinese people across theTaiwan Straits.

The U.S. government has repeated for several times that the peace across the Taiwan Straits is "in the U.S. interest," saying that it welcomes the peaceful development of the cross-Straits relationship, expects strengthened dialogues and interactions in economic, political and other fields and a more positive and stable relationship across the Taiwan Straits.

Undoubtedly, the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan seriously violated the principles established in the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques and the spirit of the Sino-U.S. Joint Statement, breached the U.S. promise to respect the core interests of China and disobeyed the mainstream wish shared by the people across the Straits.

This move clearly showed the dual character of the United States in dealing with the major issues related to China's core interests, especially at the moment that the cross-Straits relations have embarked on a path of peaceful development.

Profound lessons should be drawn from history. All previous U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have caused great damage to the Sino-U.S. relations and blocked their stable and smooth development.

This time is no exception, since the arms sales to Taiwan are rootless and absolutely harmful, whether from the perspectives of legal, moral and justice principles, or from the perspectives of joint interests of the two countries and the long-term development of their relations.

As influential major states in the world, China and the United States share broad common interests. Therefore, the strengthening of their cooperation is beneficial not only to the two countries, but also to the whole world.

The United States should recognize the serious harm caused by arms sales to Taiwan, scrupulously abide by the principles of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, especially those of the "August17 Communique," and immediately stop arms sales to Taiwan, in order to avoid damaging bilateral cooperation in key fields.

Source: Xinhua
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