Back to list

U.S. reasserts support for arms sales to Taiwan amid China threats

2018/04/06 16:10:49

File photo of Cui Tiankai (崔天凱), courtesy of China News Service

Washington, April 5 (CNA) The United States has reiterated its commitment to arms sales to Taiwan in response to comments by China's ambassador to the U.S. that China's reunification was "unstoppable."

In an interview with the China Global Television Network on Thursday, China's ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai (崔天凱) said "nobody can stop China's reunification," and that China will achieve reunification through whatever means necessary.

To this end, China is "firmly against anymore arms sales from the United States to Taiwan" and is monitoring the relationship between Taiwan and the U.S. very carefully, he said.

A U.S. Department of State spokesperson said in an email to reporters that the U.S. will continue to assess Taiwan's defense needs and sell weapons to the country accordingly, as stipulated by the Taiwan Relations Act that governs the bilateral relationship.

The past seven U.S. administrations have maintained arms sales to Taiwan, and the U.S. will continue to do so in order to aid Taiwan's security and to protect the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, the spokesperson said.

At a forum at George Washington University on Thursday, a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, a Virginia-based think tank suggested that Washington go even further.

Richard Fisher said that as the U.S. continues to sell weapons to Taiwan to boost its defense capabilities, restrictions on offensive weapons are no longer appropriate.

In view of the escalating threat China's People's Liberation Army poses to Taiwan, U.S. policy to sell only defensive weapons to Taiwan is unacceptable, he argued.

To strengthen Taiwan's security, the U.S. needs to assess and help upgrade both the country's offensive and defensive capabilities, he said.

(By Kuan-lin Liu, Chiang Chin-yeh and Rita Cheng)
Enditem/ls