Tuesday, Oct 7, 2008
China has canceled or postponed several military exchanges with the United States in protest against a proposed 6.5 billion dollar arms sale to Taiwan, a Pentagon spokesman has said.
“The Chinese reaction is unfortunate and results in missed opportunities,” said Major Stuart Upton.
Upton said senior level visits and exchanges involving humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief issues that had been scheduled to take place before the end of November, were canceled or postponed.
The Pentagon notified Congress Friday of 6.5 billion dollars in proposed arms sales to Taiwan, including advanced Patriot missile defenses, Apache attack helicopters and submarine-launched anti-ship missiles.
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Chinese officials in Washington and Beijing “responded with displeasure to the US announcement,” Upton said.
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“PRC officials have informed us that US-Chinese bilateral events may be affected,” he said.
Upton said there has been no change in US policy on arms sales to Taiwan and that the United States had faithfully abided by the US-Taiwan Relations Act, which provides for sales of defensive weapons to Taipei.
“We feel that the global security environment calls for US and PRC officials to maintain close relations to address common security challenges,” he said.