China Warns US Again Over Taiwan
BEIJING (Agence France Presse) - China on Tuesday warned the United States against including Taiwan in a Theater Missile Defense (TMD) plan for Asia or selling it sophisticated weapons.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi told a news conference that plans to integrate Taiwan into the TMD program and the continued sale of weapons to it were "outright violation" of international laws and the three Sino-U.S. joint communiqués on the subject.
"It will also erect obstacles to the improvement of bilateral relations (with China). Such practices do not serve the security and stability of Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific region," Sun said.
"We hope the US government can proceed from the overall situation of bilateral relations ... not to transfer TMD and relevant technology equipment to Taiwan and not to sell sophisticated weapons to them so as not to harm bilateral relations," Sun said.
The U.S. Congress has passed a resolution asking Taiwan, Japan and South Korea to jointly finance the expensive TMD project.
The U.S. has not officially offered Taiwan the chance to join the program and Taiwan has not officially expressed any interest.
The United States and Japan issued a joint statement in New York on Sept. 20, apparently agreeing to push the TMD system, after North Korea launched a rocket on Aug. 31 that flew over part of Japan.
Japanese government officials later insisted no final decision had been made but said Tokyo would continue to work towards possible joint research on the defense system, with the aim of countering future threats from Pyongyang.
Sun reiterated that China was concerned over the political and military implications of Japan's move and its possible effect on regional and global security.
"We hope that the Japanese side can stick to a purely defensive defense policy and to its peaceful development role," he said.
China strongly opposes arms sales to Taiwan, which it regards as a renegade province. ( (c) 1998 Agence France Presse)