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January 8, 2010

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US sale of missiles to Taiwan condemned

CHINA yesterday warned the United States of the "severe consequences" caused by its arms sales to Taiwan, saying the move would undermine Sino-American cooperation.

"China firmly opposes arms sales to Taiwan by the US ... our stance is consistent and clear," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu at a news briefing in Beijing.

The US Defense Department announced late on Wednesday a contract allowing Lockheed Martin Corp to sell an unspecified number of advanced Patriot missiles to Taiwan.

China maintains Taiwan issues concern its core interests and has urged the US to cancel the missile sale.

"We urge the US to clearly recognize the severe consequences of arms sales to Taiwan and adhere to the three Sino-US joint communiques, especially the principles established in the joint communique on August 17, 1982," Jiang said.

That communique said that the US would not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan and intended to gradually reduce arms sales generally.

"We have raised solemn representations to the US side," said Jiang.

Rear Admiral Yang Yi of the People's Liberation Army Navy said: "If the US insists on taking this course of action, it will have a negative impact on the long-term and healthy development of China-US relations."

Yang told China News Service yesterday that although developing good ties between China and the US was important, some things were unacceptable.

Some US companies that sold weapons to Taiwan also wanted to sell aircraft and other goods to Chinese mainland, said Yang, who is also director of the National Defense University's Institute of Strategic Studies.

"Why don't we take defensive countermeasures against them (the companies)? Yang said. "Apart from just protesting to the US government and taking necessary steps, why don't we put sanctions on these troublemakers?"

He highlighted comments by American President Barrack Obama, who said the China-US link was the bilateral relationship to build the future of the world in the 21st century.

"This made it clear about just how important Sino-US relations are," Yang said.

"The US still insisted on selling arms to Taiwan despite the improving situation for peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait and the joint efforts worldwide to handle the global financial crisis.

"This will definitely affect the relationship between China and the US," he said.


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