China Warns US Against Selling Taiwan Radars

China objected Friday to a U.S. plan to supply radar equipment toTaiwan's air force, even though the sale was far short of the F-16fighter jets the island's president urged Washington to provide lastweek.
U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley saidearlier this week that the U.S. sale includes "defense services,technical data, and defense articles" for Taiwan's air defense system,and radar equipment for the island's Indigenous Defense Fighter jets.
Crowleydid not put a monetary figure on the deal or identify the Americancompanies involved. The U.S. is obligated by its own laws to provideTaiwan defensive weapons.
Beijing opposes any military sales toTaiwan as interference in its internal affairs, and the issue has oftenstrained U.S.-China relations.
"China resolutely opposes theUnited States selling weapons and relevant technical assistance toTaiwan," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement.
"Weurge the United States to ... put an end to arms sales to Taiwan andmilitary ties with Taiwan to avoid causing new harm to Sino-U.S.relations."
Taiwan's Defense Ministry has not commented on theplanned sale, but the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, a private advocacygroup based in suburban Washington, called it "a small move."
Foryears the island has been pressing the U.S. to sell it 66 F-16 C/Dfighter jets to help counteract a long-standing Chinese militarybuildup, much of which has been aimed at providing Beijing thewherewithal to invade across the 100-mile- (160-kilometer-) wide TaiwanStrait.
Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949 and themainland still claims the island as part of its territory. It hasthreatened to attack if democratic Taiwan moves to make its de factoindependence permanent.
Earlier this year it suspended defenseexchanges with Washington after the U.S. announced it would makeavailable to Taiwan a $6.4 billion weapons package.
SomeTaiwanese defense officials fear that the threat of additional Chinesepressure has already convinced Washington to take the F-16 C/D sale offthe table.
However, they continue to hope that the Obamaadministration might agree to a substantial upgrade of the F-16 A/Bfighters currently in the island's inventory as a kind of consolationprize.
Last week after the release of a Pentagon reportcriticizing the secrecy surrounding China's military expansion, TaiwanPresident Ma Ying-jeou urged Washington to sell the advanced version ofthe F16 fighter. Beijing said the report was "not beneficial."
Incontrast to F-16s, the Indigenous Defense Fighter at the center of thenew radar deal is widely regarded as a relatively unsophisticatedaircraft, incapable of holding its own against the fourth generationfighters now in the possession of the Chinese air force.

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