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Friday, 19 December 2014

China threatens 'further action' as Obama okays sale of frigates to Taiwan

BEIJING: Chinese government is bristling with anger over US President Barack Obama's decision to authorize the sale of guided frigates to Taiwan, which China regards as part of its own territory. The move can affect China's naval dominance in the neighboring seas, and affect its plans to merge Taiwan into its territory.

"It brutally interferes with China's internal affairs, sabotages China's sovereignty and security interests, and runs counter to the trend of peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait," Qin Gang, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said on Friday.

"China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this and has lodged solemn representations with the United States both in Beijing and Washington. We reserve the right to take further action," he said.

The US move comes immediately after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe consolidated his position with another election victory. Abe is pushing for militarization of Japan, which China sees as a potential threat to itself. At another level, a large section of students recently carried out an anti-China agitation weakening Beijing's influence in the island nation.

"The bill seriously violates the three China-US joint communiques, particularly the US commitments specified in the August 17 Communique," Qin said at a daily press briefing.

Taiwan issue concerns China's core interests and has always been the most important and sensitive issue in China-US relations, he said.

China's firm opposition to US arms sales to Taiwan is resolute, clear and consistent, he said.

The spokesman said the US had agreed to gradually reduce arms sales to Taiwan under the August 17 Communique signed in 1982. He urged the US government to abide by the one-China policy and the three China-US joint communiques, stop official and military exchanges with Taiwan, stop arms sales to Taiwan and do more to contribute to China-US relations and the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties.