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People's Daily Calls US Arms Sales "Despicable Breach of Faith"

The recent US decision to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan constitutes a "despicable breach of faith in international relations" and will only end up hurting the United States' own interest, a leading Chinese newspaper said Thursday.

The People's Daily said in a signed commentary that Washington's move also represents flagrant trampling on the three joint communiques reached between China and the United States, to which the US government has repeatedly committed itself, a barefaced provocation against China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and outrageous interference in China's internal affairs.

The paper noted that the US government reiterated in the communique signed on August 17, 1982, 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 arms the US government approved on Monday for sale to Taiwan not only exceed previous deliveries in terms of their performance, but are also the largest arms deal between the two sides in nearly a decade.

"The US promise, written in black and white, has become nothing but empty words and a bunch of lies. When the United States has gone back on its solemn promise, where on earth is its credibility as a big power?" the paper asked.

Washington's decision to sell sophisticated weapons to Taiwan will only serve to prop up the pro-Taiwan independence forces in their bid to split China, poison the atmosphere across the Taiwan Straits, intensify cross-strait tension and eventually endanger peace, stability and security in the Asia and Pacific region and the world at large, the paper added.

The paper pointed out that Sino-US relations have come to a sensitive and complicated juncture and that the Taiwan question has always been the most important and sensitive core issue. At such a juncture, some people in Washington intend to play the Taiwan card to obstruct China's reunification and slow down the process of reinvigorating the Chinese nation.

If some policy makers in Washington, clinging to their Cold War mentality, persist in their willful act, they will not only arouse utmost indignation among the Chinese people, but also end up extremely unpopular, the paper said, citing the result of a recent poll conducted by the American Broadcasting Company and The Washington Post.

The survey indicated that 67 percent of those polled were explicitly opposed to the arms sales and the figure jumped to 75 percent when the respondents learned that such sales would "seriously harm US-China ties."

Of course, the paper said in conclusion, a few pieces of foreign arms could neither save the forces for Taiwan's independence, nor could they stop the Chinese people in their steady pursuit of national reunification.

(People's Daily 04/28/2001)

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