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Representative clarifies U.S. stance on arms sales to Taiwan

ROC Central News Agency

2010/01/31 17:36:43

Washington, Jan. 30 (CNA) Taiwan's top representative in theUnited States on Saturday said Washington has reassured him that itspolicy on selling arms to Taiwan remains unchanged and that it willnot "consult" Beijing on any such sale.

Jason Yuan said that a U.S. ranking official in charge of AsiaPacific affairs gave him the assurance immediately after U.S.

National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones suggested Friday thatthe U.S. would consult with China on arms sales to Taiwan.

According to media reports, Jones indicated that the announcementof the sale should not "come as a surprise to our Chinese friends, "and that the U.S. "will consult in a transparent way." Yuan said he was told by the U.S. official that Washington will"notify" China and Taiwan about arms sales to Taiwan but will not"consult" Beijing on any such plan.

Washington has never consulted Beijing on arms sales to Taiwan,or provided details of such sales in advance, because Beijing'sanswer would invariably be "no," the diplomat noted.

"What other answer would it be except for a 'no,'" Yuan said.

The U.S. announced Friday that it had approved the sale ofdefensive weapons to Taiwan worth US$6.4 billion and will beconfirmed if the U.S. Congress does not voice any objections.

The arms package consists of 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters,two Osprey Class mine hunting ships, 12 ATM-84L and RTM-84L HarpoonBlock II Telemetry missiles, 114 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3)missiles and communications equipment.

It did not include, however, the advanced F-16 C/D fighter planesand diesel-electric submarines long sought by Taiwan.

Yuan, the representative of the Taipei Economic and CulturalRepresentative Office in Washington, noted, however, that the U.S.

has never shut the door to future sales of F-16 fighters andsubmarines to Taiwan.

The decision on selling F-16 C/D fighters or offering submarinesto Taiwan will not be deferred beyond when the U.S. administrationhas completed an assessment of Taiwan's defensive capabilities, hesaid.

Yuan likened it to "a gift" to President Ma Ying-jeou thatWashington made the arms sales announcement Friday, the day Ma leftSan Francisco for home after a whirlwind visit to Honduras and theDominican Republic.

(By Zep Hu and Deborah Kuo) ENDITEM/ls

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