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Representative clarifies U.S. stance on arms sales to Taiwan

Representative clarifies U.S. stance on arms sales to Taiwan

Washington, Jan. 30 (CNA) Taiwan's top representative in the United States on Saturday said Washington has reassured him that its policy on selling arms to Taiwan remains unchanged and that it will not "consult" Beijing on any such sale.
Jason Yuan said that a U.S. ranking official in charge of Asia Pacific affairs gave him the assurance immediately after U.S.
National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones suggested Friday that the U.S. would consult with China on arms sales to Taiwan.
According to media reports, Jones indicated that the announcement of the sale should not "come as a surprise to our Chinese friends, " and that the U.S. "will consult in a transparent way." Yuan said he was told by the U.S. official that Washington will "notify" China and Taiwan about arms sales to Taiwan but will not "consult" Beijing on any such plan.
Washington has never consulted Beijing on arms sales to Taiwan, or provided details of such sales in advance, because Beijing's answer would invariably be "no," the diplomat noted.
"What other answer would it be except for a 'no,'" Yuan said.
The U.S. announced Friday that it had approved the sale of defensive weapons to Taiwan worth US$6.4 billion and will be confirmed if the U.S. Congress does not voice any objections.
The arms package consists of 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, two Osprey Class mine hunting ships, 12 ATM-84L and RTM-84L Harpoon Block II Telemetry missiles, 114 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles and communications equipment.
It did not include, however, the advanced F-16 C/D fighter planes and diesel-electric submarines long sought by Taiwan.
Yuan, the representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington, noted, however, that the U.S.
has never shut the door to future sales of F-16 fighters and submarines to Taiwan.
The decision on selling F-16 C/D fighters or offering submarines to Taiwan will not be deferred beyond when the U.S. administration has completed an assessment of Taiwan's defensive capabilities, he said.
Yuan likened it to "a gift" to President Ma Ying-jeou that Washington made the arms sales announcement Friday, the day Ma left San Francisco for home after a whirlwind visit to Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
(By Zep Hu and Deborah Kuo)




Updated : 2021-08-06 07:15 GMT+08:00