US announces deal on arms sale to Taiwan

Washington, Dec 17 (IANS) The US State Department has announced a $1.83 billion deal on arms sale to Taiwan, amid Beijing’s strong opposition and warning that such move would harm the China-US ties.

The announcement was made to the Congress on Wednesday.

Under the deal, the US will sell two Perry-class guided-missile frigates, anti-tank missiles, AAV-7 Amphibious Assault Vehicles, Stinger surface-to-air missiles and other military equipment to Taiwan, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang has summoned Kaye Lee, charge d’affaires of the US embassy in China, to make solemn representations to Washington over the arms sale.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. China strongly opposes the US arms sale to Taiwan,” Zheng said.

The arms sale severely goes against international law and the basic norms of international relations, severely goes against the principles in the three China-US joint communiques, especially the one signed on August 17, 1982, under which Washington agrees to gradually reduce and eventually stop its shipment of weapons to Taiwan, he said.

This was the second time in four years that President Barack Obama’s administration has approved a major arms sale package to Taiwan, following its announcement in 2011 of a $5.3 billion package of weapons sale.

Though vowing to stick to the “one-China policy”, the US government has been selling weapons to the island under the excuse of boosting its “defence capability”.

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