China denounces U.S. arms sale to Taiwan

Oct. 4, 2008 at 2:53 PM

BEIJING, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- China denounced the United States' move to sell arms to Taiwan, saying Saturday the proposal could do serious damage to Sino-American relations.

The U.S. Defense Department announced Friday it has requested $6.5 billion in advanced armaments for Taiwan, including 330 Patriot missiles and 30 Apache attack helicopters, the Voice of America reported. Defense officials said the sales were necessary to maintain a strategic balance in the region.

The U.S. Congress has 30 days to block the deal, as well as a separate proposal for submarine-launched missiles. Both are part of a $12 billion package approved by the Bush administration in 2001, the broadcaster said.

But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told Xinhua, the state-run Chinese news agency, that the Chinese government and people "firmly opposed this action which seriously damaged China's interests and the Sino-U.S. relations."

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