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China cancels military contacts with United States

Latest update : 2008-10-07

Beijing has cancelled or postponed several military exchanges with the United States to protest planned US arms sales to Taiwan worth 6.5 billion dollars. The Chinese foreign ministry warned that the sales would interfere in China's internal affairs.

China has canceled or postponed several military exchanges with the United States in protest against a proposed 6.5 billion dollar arms sale to Taiwan, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.
  
"The Chinese reaction is unfortunate and results in missed opportunities," said Major Stuart Upton.
  
Upton said senior level visits and exchanges involving humanitarian assistance and disaster relief issues that had been scheduled to take place before the end of November were canceled or postponed.
  
The Pentagon notified Congress Friday of 6.5 billion dollars in proposed arms sales to Taiwan, including advanced Patriot missile defenses, Apache attack helicopters and submarine-launched anti-ship missiles.
  
Chinese officials in Washington and Beijing "responded with displeasure to the US announcement," Upton said.
  
"PRC officials have informed us that US-Chinese bilateral events may be affected," he said.
  
Upton said there has been no change in US policy on arms sales to Taiwan and that the United States had faithfully abided by the US Taiwan Relations Act which provides for sales of defensive weapons to Taipei.
  
"We feel that the global security environment calls for US and PRC officials to maintain close relations to address common security challenges," he said.
  
"Uncertainty over the motivations and direction of China's military expansion leads others to hedge," he said. "This could lead to a security environment less favorable to China's interests, the region's, and our own."
  
In protesting the proposed sales on Saturday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao warned it would damage Sino-US relations, and called on Washington to call them off.
  
Liu said the sales would grossly interfere in China's internal affairs, endanger national security and disturb the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, he added.
  
"It is only natural that this move would stir up strong indignation of the Chinese government and people," he said, according to Xinhua.
  
"We sternly warn the United States that there is only one China in the world, and that Taiwan is a part of China," Liu said.

Date created : 2008-10-07

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