No change in U.S. stance on arms sales to Taiwan: envoy

ROC Central News Agency

2012/02/17 13:44:10

By Jay Chou and Sofia Wu

Washington, Feb. 16 (CNA) The United States will continue to sell defensive weapons to Taiwan in line with the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), the Republic of China's top representative in Washington, D.C. said Thursday.

"We have been informed by U.S. authorities that there will be no change in the U.S. arms sales policy toward Taiwan," Jason Yuan said.

He was responding to Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's call for the U.S. to stop arms sales to Taiwan during a meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Washington earlier this week.

Xi, who is expected to succeed Hu Jintao as general secretary of the Communist Party of China this autumn and become president next year, told Biden that China disagrees with the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan for several reasons, including China's core national interests, sovereignty and territorial integrity. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan.

According to Yuan, Biden told Xi that the U.S. government is obliged to continue arms sales to Taiwan in accordance with the TRA -- a U.S. law that regulates relations with Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties.

Information provided by the U. S. side also showed that U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Biden all clearly explained that U.S.-China relations are based on the three communiques signed by the two countries and the TRA, and that the U.S. welcomes peaceful dialogue across the Taiwan Strait, Yuan said.

He further revealed that Taiwan's representative office in Washington, D.C. formed a special task force two weeks ahead of Xi's visit to collect all relevant information for the Taiwan government’s reference.

"Well aware of our concerns over Xi's visit, the U.S. authorities offered me timely updates," Yuan added.

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