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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

China Warns U.S. on Arms For Taiwan

BEIJING -- China demanded Monday that the United States cancel plans to sell Stinger missiles, launchers and other weapons to Taiwan to prevent "new damage" to slowly recovering Sino-U.S. relations.

"We ask the U.S. side ... to cancel plans to sell missiles to Taiwan to prevent creating new damage to Sino-U.S. relations," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Beijing has regarded Taiwan as a renegade province since the end of the civil war in 1949. The United States should take Sino-U.S. relations into account and live up to its promise regarding the sale of weapons to Taiwan, the spokesman said without elaborating.

The U.S. Defense Department notified Congress last Friday of plans to sell weapons to Taiwan.

U.S. officials said the weapons were defensive and the sale would not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The Pentagon said Taiwan wanted to buy 1,299 Stinger missiles, 74 guided-missile launchers, 74 flight-trainer Stinger missiles, 96 jeep-like Humvee vehicles and 500 rounds of .50 calibre ammunition for an estimated $420 million.

In a separate development that could strain Sino-U.S. ties, the Washington Post reported on Sunday that U.S. intelligence officials had concluded that Pakistan was secretly building a medium-range missile factory near Islamabad using Chinese blueprints and equipment.

Asked to comment on the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said: "The report is totally groundless."