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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


China Warns of Consequences for US Weapons Sales to Taiwan

By Daniel Schearf


07 October 2008

China has warned that a U.S. decision to sell weapons to Taiwan will harm Washington's relations with Beijing. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing.

China's Foreign Ministry condemned U.S. plans to sell a package of military weapons to Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own.

The Pentagon last week approved a multibillion-dollar sale of missiles, helicopters, and other military equipment to Taipei.

U.S. and Taiwan legislators have yet to approve the deal, but Chinese officials were quick to condemn it.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang says the move threatens China's security and will gravely undermine U.S.-China relations. He warns there will be consequences.

He says the U.S. action has created obstacles for not only military exchanges, but every field of U.S.-China cooperation.

The Pentagon says China has already canceled or postponed some scheduled military and diplomatic exchanges.

China has hundreds of missiles aimed at Taiwan and has vowed to one day reunite the island with the mainland, by force if necessary. The two split politically when Communist forces won China's civil war in 1949 and nationalist forces fled to Taiwan.

Under U.S. law, the government is allowed to sell military weapons to Taiwan. The Pentagon says the planned deal complies with that law.

Qin accuses the United States of upsetting peace in the region.

He says China's development is peaceful and does not pose a threat to any other countries. He says it is the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan that disturbs the peaceful development of cross-straits relations and undermines peace and stability across the strait.

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