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China raps US on Taiwan arms, warns of fallout

/ 07:32 PM September 22, 2011

BEIJING— China on Thursday denounced a decision by the United States to upgrade Taiwan’s F-16 fighter jets, summoning the US ambassador and warning that relations overall and recently warming military ties will suffer.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website that Vice Minister Zhang Zhijun summoned US Ambassador Gary Locke in Beijing to deliver the protest.

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“The wrongdoing by the US side will inevitably undermine bilateral relations as well as exchanges and cooperation in military and security areas,” Zhang told Locke, according to the statement.

China reacts angrily to any foreign military sales to Taiwan, because it regards the democratic island of 23 million people as part of its territory, and sees the arms sales as undermining China’s efforts to woo back the island.

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Beijing temporarily suspended military exchanges with the US last year after the Obama administration notified Congress it was making $6.4 billion in weapons available to Taiwan, including missiles, Black Hawk helicopters, information distribution systems and two Osprey Class Mine Hunting Ships.

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TAGS: arms, Asia, China, Defense, Military, Taiwan
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