Taiwan and China trade criticism over U.S. arms sales

2017/06/30 22:53:18
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, June 30 (CNA) Taiwan and China engaged in a war of words Friday following an announcement by the Trump administration on a U.S. arms sales package to Taiwan, with the self-governing island saying the onus is on China to find ways to ease tensions between the two sides.

"The Beijing authorities should spend more time thinking about how tensions across the (Taiwan) Strait could be lowered instead of mistaking the effect for the cause and making rash criticism," said the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's government agency responsible for policy on China.

China has never ruled out the use of force against Taiwan and has sought to threaten the island with military deployment, drills and weapons development, MAC said in a statement.

China has also raised tensions in the Taiwan Strait and in the region by trying to isolate Taiwan in the international community and force the island to accept its political precondition for exchanges between the two sides, MAC said.

The statement came after China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) -- the MAC's Chinese counterpart -- criticized Taiwan for "trying to strengthening its hand with help from foreigners" and said the island would be "haunted by the ghost of its own creation."

The Chinese was criticizing Taiwan over an announcement in Washington Thursday by the U.S. administration that it was notifying Congress of the the arms sales package worth US$1.42 billion. The weapons include missiles and torpedoes that would represent an upgrade of the fighting capability of Taiwan's armed forces.

(By Miao Tsung-han)
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