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China demands US withdraw weapons sale bill
( 2001-12-21 00:52 ) (1 )

China Thursday warned the United States against selling advanced weapons to Taiwan, saying such acts would not only constitute serious interference in China's internal affairs but also damage bilateral relations.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue made the remarks in response to the US Congress' passage of a bill on national defence authorizing arms sales of warships and other armaments to Taiwan.

Calling the action a severe violation of US commitments to the one-China policy, Zhang urged the United States to correct its mistakes and stop its arms sales to Taiwan so as not to harm the development of Sino-US relations.

The US House recently approved the 2002 Defence Authorization Act, including a controversial package of arms sales to Taiwan such as four Kidd-class destroyers, 12 P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft and a commitment to help Taiwan procure eight diesel-powered submarines.

Turning to the increased tensions on the Pakistan and India border, Zhang said China hoped both sides could exercise restraint and avoid escalation in the fighting.

India and Pakistan should "solve the problem through dialogue and consultation to preserve peace and stability in the region,'' the spokeswoman said.

Zhang called Musharraf's visit to China a triumphant way to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.

Chinese top leaders will hold meetings with Musharraf focusing on regional and international issues.

Besides President Jiang Zemin,top legislator Li Peng, Premier Zhu Rongji and Vice-President Hu Jintao are scheduled to hold separated talks with Musharraf Friday

As for Afghanistan, China is re-establishing relations with the war-torn country.

A team of Chinese diplomats have returned to Chinese Embassy in Kabul Thursday and are arranging to meet with members of Afghanistan's interim government, Zhang said.

It is the first time China has had a formal diplomatic presence in Kabul since the embassy closed in 1993. Zhang did not say when China's embassy would reopen.

In addition, Zhang expressed China's support for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.

Although China has never participated in such multi-nationalforces for direct security function, China will "make contributions to peace in Afghanistan through our own means,'' Zhang said. "The Chinese Government will, as always, provide humanitarian assistant to Afghanistan.''



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