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Tuesday, February 2, 2010
China suspends military exchanges with US over planned arms sales to Taiwan
BEIJING (AP) - China has suspended military exchanges with the United States, threatened unprecedented sanctions against American defense companies and warning that cooperation would suffer after Washington announced US$6.4 billion in planned arms sales to Taiwan.
China's Defense Ministry said early Saturday that the sales to Taiwan, which the mainland claims as its own, cause "severe harm" to overall U.S.-China cooperation, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. Vice ministerial-level talks on arms control and strategic security were postponed.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said later Saturday that the step regarding Taiwan "reinforces" US " commitment to stability in the region" .
The United States is Taiwan's largest arms supplier, China responds angrily to any proposed arms sales, however.