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US urged to stop Taiwan arms sales

By Chen Weihua in Washington and Wang Qingyun in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-01 07:13

Trump administration asking Congress to OK $1.4 billion deal

China lashed out at the United States over the Trump administration's approval of a Taiwan arms deal, with the authorities demanding the US stop the sales.

The Trump administration had notified the US Congress of "seven proposed defense sales for Taiwan" worth about $1.42 billion, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday, adding that there is no change to Washington's one-China policy.

The arms sales, the first such deal with Taiwan since Donald Trump took office as US president, will go forward unless the US Congress formally objects in the next 30 days, according to the Associated Press.

China, having lodged solemn representations to the US in both Beijing and Washington, "strongly urges" the country to revoke the arms sales and cut military contacts with Taiwan to avoid further damaging China-US ties and cooperation in important fields, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Friday.

The arms sales would be a grave violation of the principles of the three joint communiques between China and the US and damage China's sovereignty and security interests, Lu said.

They also run counter to the spirit of the important consensus that the two countries' heads of state reached in their meeting in Florida in April, and are not in line with the general trend of the development of bilateral ties or the US's own interests, Lu pointed out.

Ren Guoqiang, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said: "China is resolutely opposed to arms sales to Taiwan by the government of any foreign country."

"The position of the Chinese military over safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity is firm and clear," Ren said.

The revelation of the arms deal came one day after a US Senate committee completed a markup of a bill, allowing the US Navy to make regular port calls in Taiwan. This drew an immediate protest from China.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, warned on Friday: "Any behavior of relying on foreign forces to magnify oneself and damage peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits will surely backfire."

Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the US, told reporters on the sidelines of a reception at the Chinese embassy on Thursday the arms deal "will certainly undermine the mutual confidence between the two sides".

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