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China suspends military visits with U.S. over planned arms sales to Taiwan

BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- China on Saturday decided to suspend scheduled visits between the Chinese and U.S. armed forces, in response to Washington's plan to sell a package of arms worth about 6.4 billion U.S. dollars to Taiwan.

"We made the decision out of considerations on the severe harm of the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan," said Defense Ministry spokesman Huang Xueping in a statement.

The U.S. government on Friday announced the plans to sell a package of arms to Taiwan, which include Patriot missiles, Black Hawk helicopters and minesweepers. China immediately expressed strong indignation about the sale after the U.S. government notified the U.S. Congress of the plans.

Qian Lihua, director of the Defense Ministry's Foreign Affairs Office, on Saturday summoned the defense attache of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing to lodge a stern protest.

"The Chinese military expresses grave indignation and strongly condemns such a move to grossly interfere into China's internal affairs and harm China's national security interests," Qian said in a press release of the office.

Taiwan issue is related to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and concerns China's core interests.

"The U.S. arms sales to Taiwan gravely violates the three joint communiques between China and the United States, and seriously endangers China's national security and harms China's reunification course," Qian said.

The U.S. such move also constitutes severe violation of the agreements reached by the top leaders of both sides on the China-U.S. relations in the new situation, he said.

It runs counter to the principles of the joint statement issued during U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to China in November last year, said Qian.

The U.S. plan will definitely bring about serious negative impact on the relations between the two countries and militaries, and will to the end severely undermine the interests of the United States itself, he noted.

The United States have reiterated in many occasions that it will adhere to the one-China policy, abide by the three joint communiques and support the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Straits.

"However, the United States now takes faithless action to sell arms to Taiwan again," Qian said such plans severely poison the political foundation of the relations between the two militaries, and produce grave obstacles to military exchanges between the two sides.

Qian urged the United States to respect China's core interests and concerns, take practical actions to abide by its solemn commitments on Taiwan issue, withdraw its arms sales items to Taiwan, and stop military links with Taiwan, in order not to create further damage to the relations between the two countries and the two militaries and to the peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.

"We reserve the right of taking further actions," he noted.

According to Huang, the spokesman, "such a move is gravely against especially the 'Aug. 17' communique signed in 1982."

The U.S. side states in the Communique that "it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan" and "intends to reduce gradually its sales of arms to Taiwan, leading over a period of time to a final resolution."

"We will never give in or compromise in this issue," the statement quoted Huang as saying, noting that the Chinese military will firmly fight against any move to destroy China's national sovereignty security and territorial integrity.



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