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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Beijing Slams U.S. Arms Sales To Taiwan

Combined Reports

BEIJING -- China lashed out angrily Thursday at the Clinton administration's approval of arms sales to Taiwan, an island it described as China's "sacred territory."

The Clinton administration this week approved the sale of Stinger surface-to-air missiles and an advanced targeting and navigation system for jet fighters, but it denied the Taipei government's request for new submarines.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said the approval goes against the United States' calls for a reduction in arms sales and violates a U.S. pledge in 1982 to reduce its arms sales to Taiwan.

"Now it is selling advanced weapons to a sensitive area at a sensitive time. This is very irresponsible," he said in a news briefing. "Foreign forces, the United States in particular, in the future must not provide large amounts of sophisticated weapons to Taiwan."

Shen opened his remarks with a long tirade against a resolution overwhelmingly adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday that said the United States was committed to helping defend Taiwan from Chinese attack.

Shen said the House resolution had "intensified tensions" and accused the United States of "attempting to obstruct through a show of force the Chinese nation from realizing the reunification of the motherland."

"Taiwan is China's sacred territory and not a U.S. protectorate," Shen declared, calling the motion a serious encroachment on Beijing's sovereignty.

The denunciation came as a U.S. naval battle group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Nimitz passed through the crowded sea lanes between Singapore and Indonesia and headed north into the South China Sea for a link-up with the carrier group headed by the USS Independence off Taiwan.

The United States has not said whether it will send a carrier through the international waters of the Taiwan Strait. The Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po, citing unidentified Beijing experts, said any move by U.S. ships into the strait "would not only be rash but would pose great dangers." ()