U.S. license approval for Taiwan submarine plan draws China's ire
Taipei, April 11 (CNA) The United States' decision to grant a license necessary for American firms to sell Taiwan the technology it needs to build its own submarines has drawn opposition from China.
China resolutely opposes any form of official or military contact between the U.S. and Taiwan, including U.S. arms sales to Taiwan under any pretext, China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said at a regular press conference on Wednesday.
The U.S. should adhere to the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques governing bilateral relations. Any attempt by the U.S. to "play the Taiwan card" will fail, Ma said.
However, the U.S. contends that the decision was made in accordance with the the Taiwan Relations Act, which requires Washington provide Taiwan with arms and services to defend itself.
U.S. sales of defense articles and services are guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, based on an assessment of Taiwan's defense needs, and in accordance with procedures established by law, a U.S. Department of State spokesperson said on Monday in an e-mail to a CNA reporter on the matter.
"Our longstanding policy on defense sales to Taiwan has been consistent across seven different U.S. administrations. This policy has contributed to the security of Taiwan and also supported the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," the spokesperson said.
Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said last week it had received reports the U.S. State Department had agreed to grant the marketing license required for American manufacturers to sell technology to Taiwan to allow it to build its own submarines.
Presidential Office spokesman Sydney Lin (林鶴明) said this decision will not only help Taiwan upgrade its self-defense capabilities but also benefit the safety and security of the region.
Taiwan's Presidential Office and the MND thanked the U.S. for its commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the Six Assurances, the cornerstones of U.S.-Taiwan relations.
Taiwan announced last year that it plans to build eight submarines to bolster its current fleet of four aging foreign-built vessels. The move is intended to ensure an adequate defense against Chinese threats and circumvent Beijing's efforts to prevent it from purchasing such technology overseas.
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