Tai­wan mil­i­tary con­tacts slammed

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHANG YI zhangyi1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Bei­jing firmly ob­jects to any form of of­fi­cial or mil­i­tary con­tacts be­tween the United States and Tai­wan, an of­fi­cial said on Wed­nes­day, after a US Navy re­search ves­sel docked at Kaoh­si­ung in south­ern Tai­wan on Mon­day.

“Our po­si­tion is con­sis­tent and clear, as al­ways,” Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice of the State Coun­cil, said at a reg­u­lar news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

The Tai­wan ques­tion con­cerns China’s sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity as well as the coun­try’s core in­ter­ests, he said. “We urge rel­e­vant par­ties to ex­er­cise cau­tion so as not to cause dam­age to the peace and sta­bil­ity across the Straits.”

The is­land’s “mil­i­tary author­ity” said on Tues­day that the ves­sel, the Thomas G. Thomp­son, is not en­gaged in mil­i­tary ac­tiv­i­ties and is visit­ing Tai­wan for joint sci­en­tific re­search with Tai­wan Uni­ver­sity.

It is the fourth time this year the ship docked at Kaoh­si­ung Port, dur­ing which time it loaded up on sup­plies and made crew changes. The ship sets sail for Aus­tralia on Thurs­day, it said.

The ves­sel be­longs to the Of­fice of Naval Re­search, and it can be used to con­duct oceanic sur­veys for the US Navy. The ship is op­er­ated and main­tained by the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton, the is­land’s me­dia re­ported.

In late Septem­ber, the US State Depart­ment ap­proved the sale of spare parts worth $330 mil­lion to Tai­wan for F-16 fight­ers, C-130 cargo planes and other air­craft.

Bei­jing has strongly protested the sale and urged Wash­ing­ton to im­me­di­ately with­draw the deal and cease mil­i­tary con­tacts with Tai­wan to avoid more dam­age to Sino-US re­la­tions and sta­bil­ity across the Straits.

“The arms sales to Tai­wan have se­ri­ously vi­o­lated the one-China prin­ci­ple, in­ter­fered with the coun­try’s do­mes­tic af­fairs and harmed Chi­nese sovereignty and se­cu­rity in­ter­ests, as well as Sino-US re­la­tions,” the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense said in a state­ment on Sept 25.

“Those who rely on for­eign­ers to build them­selves up and un­der­mine the peace and sta­bil­ity across the Tai­wan Straits will cer­tainly pay a price for their deeds,” An Feng­shan, another spokesman for the Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice, said ear­lier.

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