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China missile defense test not linked to Taiwan arms sale - Clinton

RIA Novosti


WASHINGTON, January 13 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that China's missile defense test was not a response to U.S. arms supplies to Taiwan.

China tested a ground-based system to intercept missiles in midflight on Monday in what the country said was a purely defensive move, amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington over American weapons supplies to Taiwan.

On Thursday media reported that the Pentagon had approved a deal to sell new Patriot air defense systems to Taiwan. China said it "retained the right to retaliatory actions."

Beijing urged the United States to reverse its decision to sell arms to Taiwan, strongly protesting the U.S. government's decision to allow Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin Corp. to sell weapons to the island, which split from the mainland following the 1949 Civil War.

The sales plan was part of an arms package announced in October 2008 by the Bush administration, which included weapons and equipment such as Patriot III anti-missile systems.

Clinton said the United States has done a lot to develop confidential relations with China and added that her country was ready for open dialogue.

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