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Nation indignant over US arms sale to Taiwan
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-01 23:45

China Thursday expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition towards a US decision to sell US$1.78 billion in advanced radar systems to Taiwan.

"We have always opposed US' sales of such advanced weapons," " said Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan at a news conference.

China made a formal requirement for the United States to make a clarification, Kong said, adding the Taiwan question is of great significance for China.

Such arms sales violate the principles set in the three Sino-US joint communiques and the one-China policy commitment, according to the spokesman.

"Especially under the current complex and sensitive situation across the Taiwan Straits, we demand the United States to be faithful to what it has said and to abide by its promises and not send wrong signals to Taiwan's independence (seekers)."

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing urged the US to refrain from any official contacts with Taiwan authorities, Xinhua reported.

The United States should adhere to the one-China policy as well as the three joint communiques on bilateral relations and oppose Taiwan independence, said Li when meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Berlin.

Powell said the US side values its relations China and is willing to make joint efforts with China for the continued bilateral relations, Xinhua reported.

The US Government will continually uphold the one-China policy, abide by the three Sino-US communiques and not support any form of Taiwan independence, he said.

Also Thursday, Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Hi met with the US special envoy for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Joseph Detrani, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The two officials gave positive assessments on the progress made during the second round six-party talks, sources said. They both agreed to start the working group in accordance to the consensus of the talks as soon as possible to prepare for the third round talks.

Answering an inquiry about the US decision on March 22 to collect fingerprints of Chinese people who apply for a US visa, Kong said the United States was told it is "totally unnecessary" to fingerprint Chinese visa applicants though China understands the US concerns about domestic security after the September 11 tragedy.

Although China decided to take countermeasures against the United States on March 30, said Kong, it is "open" to discussion on simplifying procedures on visas, and promoting, personnel exchanges between the two countries.

On Sino-Japanese relations, Kong said the Japanese side should draw on lessons from history.

"The Japanese Government needs to have a serious position and face history squarely as it faces the future."

The Japanese leaders' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine are a reflection of the Japanese Government's stance and attitude toward the war that deeply hurts the emotions of the Chinese people and people in other Asian countries.

"The question of the Yasukuni Shrine is a very serious issue. It concerns an aggressive war waged against Asia," Kong said.

In regard to Diaoyu Islands issue, Kong stressed the islands have been a part of the Chinese territory since ancient times and China has indisputable sovereignty over these islands, according to history and law.

The two countries have differences on the Diaoyu Islands issue, and China has insisted on solving it through peaceful negotiations, Kong said.

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