China tells US not to sell arms to Taiwan
China told the top U.S. military officer in Asia Friday that it resolutely opposed U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and that it would not allow the island to become independent under any circumstances.
After meeting visiting Pacific Commander Admiral Thomas Fargo, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told state television that China was willing to advance Sino-U.S. relations but its "biggest concern" was Taiwan.
"We resolutely oppose the United States violating the Three Joint Communiques and violating the 'one China' principle to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan because this does not benefit our efforts to peacefully resolve the Taiwan issue," Li said.
The communiques date back to 1979, when China and United States formally established the diplomatic relationship. One of the communiques pledged to gradually reduce arms sales to Taiwan in qualitative and quantitative terms.
Taiwan is considering weapons purchases of US$18 billion from the United States, including Patriot anti-missile systems, submarines and anti-submarine aircraft.
Li said the United States should clearly understand the seriousness and sensitivity of the Taiwan situation,halt its arms sales to Taiwan and end its relevant military excha nges aimed at upgrading its relationship with Taiwan.
Only in so doing, he added, can the steady development of Sino-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan straits be maintained.
Li acknowledged that Sino-US relationship is generally advancing in a positive direction. But he noted that the Taiwan issue, which concerns China's core interests, has become the biggest factor in the steady development of the Sino-US ties.
China appreciated US President George W. Bush's repeated assurance that the US side will adhere to the One China policy, abide by the three Sino-US joint communiques and oppose the independence of Taiwan, noted Li.
Admiral Fargo said a strong US-China relationship will benefit world peace and stability.
The United States regards China as its partner, and is willing to keep high-level dialogues with China and strengthen bilateral cooperation in various areas, noted Admiral Fargo.
He went on to say the American side has noted the Chinese concerns on the Taiwan issue, and that President Bush has reiterated time and again that the United States will keep to the One China policy.
The US side hopes the East Asian region will maintain its stability and prosperity, said Admiral Fargo.
During the meeting, Li and Admiral Fargo also has an exchange of views on some international and regional issues, including the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsular and the Iraq issue.
It is Admiral Fargo's third visit to China. He arrived in Beijing Wednesday
as guest of Liu Zhenwu, commander of the Guangzhou Military Area Command. After
winding up his China trip, Fargo will proceed to visit India, Bangladesh and
other Asian nations.