May 22, 2012
China has “strongly opposed” to the sale of F-16 by the United States to Taiwan, following the adoption of an amendment last Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives to authorize the sale of 66 fighters to Taipei.
“We resolutely oppose the amendment relating to China in this bill, which speculates on the military development of China and called the United States to sell arms to Taiwan.” said Hong Lei , spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, during a regular briefing.
The amendment, which seeks to force the administration of President Barack Obama to authorize the sale, was adopted Thursday by the Republican-majority House in the framework of a comprehensive bill to finance the Pentagon. But the text must still be approved by the Senate, dominated by Democrats.
It plans to ask the Obama administration to approve Taiwan’s request to purchase 66 new aircraft F16C / D, in addition to current plans to modernize equipment in service in the Taiwanese Air Force.
The author of the measure, Representative Kay Granger, said that Taiwan needed more than a modernization of its fleet to cope with the growing threat of China.
“Advocate for arms sales to Taiwan gravely violates the one China policy”, Mr. Hong said. These sales “are a serious interference in China’s internal affairs,” added the spokesman who called the Chinese American legislators to “abandon a mentality of the Cold War.”
In late April, the White House had promised to give “serious consideration” the sale of new American fighter planes to Taiwan.
While relations between Beijing and Taipei have largely improved since Ma Ying-jeou coming to power in 2008, China does not exclude recourse to force to restore its sovereignty over the island, governed separately from the mainland since 1949.