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

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

Upton also said "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 ran counter to the principles of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques and the fundamental norms governing international relations," said Huang.

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

"The U.S. side carped at China's righteous national defense building, which was totally confounding right and wrong to mislead the public," said the spokesman.

He 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.

Concerning bilateral military ties, he said China has made positive and concerted efforts over the years to strengthen military exchanges with the United States.

The U.S. side, regardless of China's repeated strong opposition, insisted to notify the Congress about its plan to sell arms to Taiwan, which seriously harmed bilateral military ties and blocked exchanges and cooperation between the two armed forces in various areas including high-level visits, Huang said.

The U.S. side should take full responsibilities for the current situation, he added.

The Chinese armed forces firmly support the solemn stance of the Chinese government, he said, urging the U.S. side to deal with bilateral military ties from a strategic height and long-term point of view, and take practical actions to honor the one-China policy and obey the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques.

The spokesman also called on the United States to abide by its commitments for China on the Taiwan issue, cancel relevant arms sale programs to Taiwan immediately and cut off military ties with the island, to prevent harming the overall bilateral military ties.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei has summoned the charge d'affaires of the U.S. Embassy to China to raise strong protest against the U.S. move. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao and Qin Gang had earlier expressed strong condemnation over the U.S. decision, respectively.

(Xinhua News Agency October 10, 2008)

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