China issues warning over US arms sales to Taiwan

January 27, 2010 05:49


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Contacts with China's military would likely be the first to suffer if Beijing moves to retaliate over upcoming US arms sales to Taiwan — the latest in a flurry of disputes elevating tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu warned that the Obama administration risked damaging ties with China if it proceeds with the arms package deal, which is likely to include Black Hawk helicopters and Patriot missiles.

"Once again, we urge the US side to recognize the sensitivity of weapon sales to Taiwan and its gravity," Ma told reporters Tuesday at a regularly scheduled news conference. He said failure to halt the sales would "impair the larger interests of China-US cooperation."

Ma's comments were echoed Wednesday by the Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office which handles contacts with Taiwan, considered by Beijing to be a breakaway province.

"Our stance of opposing arms sales to Taiwan by any country is consistent and clear," spokesman Yang Yi said. "We feel that advancing the peaceful development of cross-strait relations is the only real way to benefit Taiwan's peace and stability."

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