U.S. announces deal on arms sale to Taiwan despite Beijing’s opposition, indignation

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) — The U.S. State Department on Wednesday notified Congress of a 1.83-billion-U.S.-dollar deal on arms sale to Taiwan, amid Beijing’s strong opposition and warning that such move would harm the China-U.S. ties.

Under the deal, the U.S. will sell to Taiwan two Perry-class guided-missile frigates, anti-tank missiles, AAV-7 Amphibious Assault Vehicles, Stinger surface-to-air missiles and other military equipment.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang has summoned Kaye Lee, charge d’affaires of the U.S. embassy in China, to make solemn representations to the U.S. over the arms sale.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. China strongly opposes the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan,” Zheng said.

The arms sale severely goes against international law and the basic norms of international relations, severely goes against the principles in the three China-U.S. joint communiques, and severely harms China’s sovereignty and security interests, he said.

This was the second time in four years that the Obama administration has approved a major arms sale package to Taiwan, following its announcement in 2011 of a 5.3-billion-dollar package of weapons sale to the island, an integrated part of China’s sovereign territory.

Though vowing to stick to the “one-China policy,” the U.S. government has been selling weapons to the island under the excuse of boosting its “defense capability” under the so-called Taiwan Relations Act enacted in 1979.

“To safeguard our national interests, China has decided to take necessary measures, including imposing sanctions against the companies involved in the arms sale,” Zheng said.

“No one can shake the firm will of the Chinese government and people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to oppose foreign interference,” the vice minister added.

China urged the U.S. to abide by the clear commitment it has made in the three joint communiques, revoke the arms sale plan, and stop military contact with Taiwan, so as to avoid bringing further damage to China-U.S. relations and bilateral cooperation in major areas, Zheng added.

China’s opposition to the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan has been “steady, clear and consistent,” because such move interferes in China’s domestic affairs and harms not only the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations but also the China-U.S. relations.

The U.S. arms sales to Taiwan blatantly violate the three joint communiques signed by China and the U.S., especially the one signed on Aug. 17, 1982, under which the U.S. agrees to gradually reduce and eventually stop its shipment of weapons to Taiwan.

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