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China urges US to drop proposed Taiwan arms sale
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Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on Monday urged the United States to immediately abolish its proposed arms sale to Taiwan and end its military connection to the island, stressing the sales plan had damaged China-U.S. military ties.

"The U.S. arms sale plan, regardless of China's repeated opposition, has undoubtedly damaged relations between the two countries and two armed forces seriously, and created obstacles for exchanges and cooperation in various fields, including high-level visits between the two armed forces," Liang told visiting U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel.

He said China hoped the U.S. side would take concrete action to insist on the one-China policy, abide by the three Sino-U.S. communiques and its commitments on the Taiwan issue, immediately abolish a relevant plan for an arms sale to Taiwan and end military connection with Taiwan to avoid destroying China-U.S. state-to-state and military-to-military relations.

Hagel said he understood the Chinese government's and armed forces' concern on the issue, stressing the U.S. Congress and government both followed the one-China policy, and believed the peaceful reunification of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan was the final solution to the Taiwan issue.

Liang said the Chinese armed forces had always attached great importance to developing military ties with the U.S. side and made unremitting efforts in this regard.

He also hailed the relationship between China and the United States as one of the most important in the world, saying to maintain the healthy and steady development of such a relationship was in the fundamental interests of both countries and conducive to regional and world peace, stability and development.

Hagel said the two sides needed to expand the military-to-military ties and further strengthen cooperation and exchanges.

(Xinhua News Agency October 13, 2008)

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