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China Strongly Protests US Arms Sales to Taiwan

China on Wednesday strongly protested against the US government on its announcement of arms sales to Taiwan.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing Wednesday urgently summoned US Ambassador Joseph W Prueher and lodged solemn representations and the protest as instructed by the Chinese government.

Li noted that the US government announced that it will sell advanced weapons and equipment worth billions of US dollars to Taiwan, including four Kidd-class destroyers, eight diesel-powered submarines, and 12 P-3C Orion submarine-hunting aircraft.

This wrong decision made by the US side marked an escalation in its arms sales to Taiwan, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the three Sino-US joint communiques, especially the one signed on August 17, 1982, and an open provocation to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Li pointed out.

Li said the US act can only further the arrogance of pro-Taiwan independence forces to split China, intensify the tension across the Taiwan Straits, and harm peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Such a move will also seriously impact bilateral cooperation in the nonproliferation field and cause a destructive damage to Sino-US relations, Li added.

The Chinese government and people are extremely indignant at and firmly opposed to this decision by the US government, Li said, and "I was ordered to make solemn representations with and a strong protest to the US government on this issue."

Li stressed that the US government made explicit commitments in the Sino-US joint communique signed on August 17, 1982, saying that "it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, that its arms sales to Taiwan will not exceed, either in qualitative or in quantitative terms, the level of those supplied in recent years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, and that it intends gradually to reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time, to a final resolution."

However, the US government has gone back on its word and has been constantly selling various advanced weaponry to Taiwan, going even farther on the dangerous road of selling arms to Taiwan, Li said.

What the US side has decided to sell to Taiwan now are weaponry with advanced performance and huge value, he noted, adding that the US side has even claimed to help the Taiwan authorities procure offensive submarines from other countries, which "scotched the US lies of selling only defensive weaponry to Taiwan," he said.

"The Chinese people and the people of the world realize once again that the US government does not live up to its promises, and facts have revealed that the US does not actually want sustained peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits," Li said.

"The Chinese people cannot help asking: What are the intentions of the US side after all in selling arms to Taiwan? Where on earth is the US trying to lead Sino-US relations? We should sternly inform the US side of the firm resolution and determination of the Chinese people in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. No one can stop the Chinese people in their endeavor for reunification of the motherland," he added.

Li pointed out that Sino-U.S. relations are now at a sensitive and complicated juncture. The Chinese side demands that the US side fully understand the seriousness, danger and destructive nature of US arms sales to Taiwan, take seriously China's solemn stand, abide by the provisions of the three Sino-US joint communiques, especially the one on US arms sales to Taiwan, immediately revoke its erroneous decision and give up arms sales to Taiwan, in an effort to avoid further damage of Sino-US relations.

"The US side shall otherwise be held responsible for all the consequences arising therefrom, and the Chinese side reserves the right to make further responses to the matter," he said.

In another development, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Yang Jiechi lodged solemn representations and a strong protest on April 24 local time to a top official with the US State Department against the announced US arms sales to Taiwan.

(China Daily 04/26/2001)

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