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Arms race would harm 'only Taiwan'

By Luo Wangshu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-30 07:30

Turning to foreign weapons and strategies described as 'dead end'

The Chinese mainland strongly opposes any form of military and official exchanges between Taiwan and foreign nations that have diplomatic ties with China, an official said on Wednesday.

"An arms race will only harm Taiwan compatriots," Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a regular news briefing.

He spoke in response to Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen this month publicly describing arms sales from the United States as one of Taiwan's pillars for cross-Straits stability. She also attended a ceremony to unveil the island's submarine program.

"As the gap of comprehensive power and strength between Taiwan and the mainland widens, it will be a dead end if the Taiwan administration attempts to guard its wrongful political path through foreign arms sales, aggressive weapons development and even a 'military strategy' bluff," Ma said.

It would only increase tension and confrontation between the two sides and hinder the island's social and economic development, he added. Ma reiterated that the foundation of the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations lies in opposing "Taiwan independence" and adhering to the 1992 Consensus.

"We hope the Taiwan side can get back on the right track," he said.

"If we just let things go their way, I think both sides know very well about the risks and influence it will bring to cross-Straits relations, peace and stability ... and the future of Taiwan."

Wang Hailiang, a researcher of Taiwan studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said: "The mainland won't allow Taiwan to develop aggressive arms. If the island goes too far, the mainland will take proper action."

In December, China expressed strong opposition to the US Congress passing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which facilitates military exchanges between the US and Taiwan.

Ma also responded to arms sales by the US to Taiwan last year by saying China hoped the new US administration would abide by the one-China policy and the three joint China-US communiques on Taiwan.

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