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China condemns US for Taiwan arms sales
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China's Defense Ministry on Thursday blamed the United States for its arms sales to Taiwan, saying it was strongly discontented and firmly opposed to the recent comments from the US side on bilateral military ties.

Ministry spokesman Huang Xueping said China had noticed a Pentagon spokesman's recent comments on US-China military ties, referring to Stuart Upton's remarks on Monday that Washington's arms sales were consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act.

Upton added "uncertainty over the motivations and direction of China's military expansion leads others to hedge," and "this could lead to a security environment less favorable to China's interests, the region's, and our own."

"We are strongly dissatisfied and opposed to the Pentagon spokesman's remarks. The so-called 'Taiwan Relations Act' severely runs counter to the principles of the three Sino-US joint communiques and the fundamental norms governing international relations," Huang said.

He added the United States had no right to place domestic law above international laws, or use it as an excuse to sell weapons to Taiwan.

"The US side carped at China's rightful national defense building, which was totally confounding right and wrong to mislead the public."

Huang said China firmly takes the road of peaceful development and follows an independent foreign policy of peace and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature.

"China develops limited defense power with an aim to safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity," he said. "We had made solemn undertakings to the world time and again that China would never seek hegemony or expansionism, nor an arms race."

China's development serves as active force to promote world and regional peace and poses no threat to anybody, Huang added.

The US government, in spite of China's repeated solemn representations, notified Congress on Friday about its plan to sell arms to Taiwan, including Patriot III anti-missile system, E-2T airborne early warning aircraft upgrade system, Apache helicopters and other equipment.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei has summoned the charge d'affaires of the US Embassy to China to raise strong protest against the move. The Foreign Ministry had earlier expressed strong condemnation over the US decision.

(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2008)

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