China to US: Cancel Taiwan Arms Deal

...or else relations will be harmed, officials warn
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2011 8:14 AM CDT
China to US: Cancel Taiwan Arms Deal
In this April 12, 2011 file image, a Taiwan Air Force F-16 fighter lands on a section of highway during a military drill in Madou, Tainan city, south of Taiwan.   (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

China is harshly denouncing a US arms deal with Taiwan announced yesterday, calling for the US ambassador to China to protest the deal and warning that it will harm US-China ties if it is not canceled. The Obama administration notified Congress of the $5.8 billion plan yesterday; it would upgrade Taiwan’s 145 aging F-16 fighter jets but would not, for now, allow the island to buy the 66 additional F-16s it requested.

“The wrongdoing by the US side will inevitably undermine bilateral relations as well as exchanges and cooperation in military and security areas,” China’s vice foreign minister reportedly told the US ambassador, according to the state news agency. China’s ambassador to the US also reportedly protested the move. But no specific retaliatory measures were announced, and some experts tell the Washington Post that the US-China relationship will only see a minor impact and that military ties may not be affected at all, largely because of the choice not to sell Taiwan the new fighter jets. (Read more China stories.)

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