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US refuses to reconsider arms sales decision on Taiwan

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WASHINGTON (PTI): The Chinese request to the US to reconsider its decision of arms sales to Taiwan has been “politely declined” by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a senior US official said.

“He (Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi) was making very serious representations to Clinton, asked Obama Administration to reconsider this decision and indicated it would harm the trust and confidence that was established between the two sides,” a senior US administration official said on condition of anonymity.

Clinton responded very clearly that the US had a strategic interest in the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, the official said.

“The Taiwan Relations Act is quite clear that it provides for a strong rationale for the provision of defensive capabilities and weapons to Taiwan as part of a larger context to preserve that peace and stability,” the official said referring to the talks between the two leaders.

The issue figured prominently when Clinton met Yang in the New York City on the sidelines of the ongoing 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

“She underscored her view that the strong support of the US that had provided Taiwan with the confidence to reach out in diplomacy with Beijing over the course of the last several years,” the official said.

She underscored that the US supports the improvement in relations, the building of educational, financial, people-to-people links between the mainland and Taiwan, the State Department official said.

“We support that, and she indicated that she’d like to see that series of interactions and trust and confidence across the Taiwan Straits increase and grow in the time ahead,” the official said.

The two leaders also discussed critical issues in global economy, the official said, adding that they underscored a very delicate and sensitive period.

The two foreign ministers reviewed recent steps with regard to the South China Sea.

The conversation also focused on maintenance of peace and stability in the South China Sea, wherein Clinton emphasised that the preservation of freedom of navigation, freedom of the seas, is a critical component of that peace and stability, and that is something that underscores US approach not just in the South China Sea but globally.

Clinton indicated that this was an underpinning of its view of global commerce on the oceans and that this was not something that one country bestowed on another but was an essential feature to global maritime stability going forward, the State Department official said.

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China  Taiwan  US  Defence  
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