TAIWAN MUST DECIDE ON ARMS PURCHASE ON ITS OWN: U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY
ROC Central News Agency
Washington, Aug. 23 (CNA) U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday that its up to Taiwan to decide whether to purchase the arms offered by the United States, pointing out that sovereign countries have to make decisions for themselves.
The secretary made the remarks at a regular press conference in response to a reporter's question regarding the arms procurement bill that has been long stalled in Taiwan's legislature due to opposition from lawmaker's of the "pan-blue alliance" of the Kuomintang and People First Party. "If they decide not to (make the arms purchase) or if they decide to do so, that's up to them, " Rumsfeld said. "We have made our position known with the Taiwan Relations Act. And we have an obligation under that act to work with Taiwan on fulfilling the security and arms sale provisions of that act, " he further said.
According to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense, the items on the procurement list include eight diesel-powered submarines, six Patriot PAC III anti-missile batteries and 12 P-3C anti-submarine aircraft.
(By Oliver Lin and P.C. Tang)
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