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US decision undermines US-China relations

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The US' decision to go ahead with the sale of a $1.4 billion arms package to Taiwan threatens to undermine US-Chinese relations, China's ambassador to Washington said. reports citing CNN.

Speaking to the People's Daily newspaper Thursday, Ambassador Cui Tiankai said recent US moves eroded the trust built when US President Donald Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida in April.

"US arms sales to Taiwan and the sanctions against Chinese enterprises have damaged the basis and mutual trust between the two countries, it also contradicts the spirit and consensus of the two leaders' meeting in Mar A Lago," said Cui.

A statement released by the Chinese Embassy in Washington said that the sale of arms to Taiwan "grossly interferes" in China's domestic affairs. "The Chinese side has lodged serious representation to the US side, and reserves every right to take further action," read the statement.

On Thursday, the Trump administration notified Congress of its plans to go ahead with the controversial arms package, the first such sale under President Trump.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the agreement included "seven proposed defense sales for Taiwan," adding that the deal was valued at "about $1.42 billion."

A US official familiar with the deal told CNN that the package would include advanced missiles and torpedoes including the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon and MK 48 6AT Heavy Weight Torpedoes.

It will also include technical support for an early warning radar system.

The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, signaled strong support for the sale, calling it "long overdue" in a statement issued shortly after its announcement.

Congress has 30 days to raise any objections to the deal.

The announcement of the arms sale comes the same day the US Treasury Department announced a series of sanctions and measures that would among other things, sever US financial ties with China's Bank of Dandong, which the administration claims acts as a pipeline to support alleged illicit North Korean financial activity.

Both announcements came during Trump's meeting with South Korea's new president Moon Jae-in at the White House. Both leaders are anxious to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile program.

2017.06.30 / 17:59
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