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China's position on suspending military visits with U.S. "unchanged": spokesman

2010-02-25 20:32 BJT

BEIJING, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's position on suspending its military visits with the United States "remains unchanged" due to the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan, a Chinese military spokesman said Thursday.

China late last month decided to suspend scheduled visits between the Chinese and U.S. armed forces, in response to Washington's plan to sell a package of arms worth about 6.4 billion U.S. dollars to Taiwan.

"The U.S. side should bear full responsibility for the current difficult situation on China-U.S. military exchanges," Defense Ministry spokesman Huang Xueping said in a statement on Thursday.

China has slammed the U.S. move, pointing out it violated the three Sino-US joint communiques, especially the principles established in the Joint Communique on Aug. 17, 1982, which stated that the United States would not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, and intended to gradually reduce arms sale.

The two militaries had been expected to launch more exchanges in 2010, which include U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' visit to China and mutual visits of warships.

Gates said this week that he still planned to visit China later this year.

But Huang said the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan "seriously endangers China's national security, damages China's core interests, greatly disturbs the relations between the two countries and the two militaries, and tremendously harms the overall China-U.S. cooperation and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."

"Therefore, China decided to suspend the planned mutual visits between the Chinese and U.S. militaries. Our position has not changed," said Huang.

"We demand the U.S. side to take concrete measures and fully respect China's core interests and security concerns," he said.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: Xinhua