China Denounces U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan

Xinhua reports on China’s condemnation of U.S. plans to sell Patriot missile equipment to Taiwan:

China’s Defense Ministry on Friday expressed strong indignation and firm opposition to the US arms sales to Taiwan, urging the US to respect China’s core interests and immediately withdraw related arms sales items.

“The US side clings obstinately to the Bush administration’s plan of arms sales to Taiwan, which severely undermines the mutual trust between the two militaries,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Huang Xueping in a statement.

“It also greatly hinders the improvement and development of China-US military ties,” Huang said. “We reserve the right of taking further actions.”

[…] This was the fourth official announcement made by a Chinese spokesperson in a week. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu had previously denounced the US move three times.

AFP reports on the weapon sales’ background:

His comments came after a US official in Taipei said the US Defense Department had approved the sale of Patriot missile equipment to Taiwan, part of a package passed by Congress more than a year ago.

“The US Defense Department awarded Lockheed Martin Corp the contract to provide Patriot missile defense systems to Taiwan as part of a big arms deal approved by Congress in 2008,” said the spokesman with the American Institute, the US de facto embassy in Taipei.

The US Defense Department said in a statement on Wednesday the contract for Lockheed Martin involved “basic missile tooling upgrades.”

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