NEW YORK - Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Thursday urged the United States to correct its error by immediately revoking its arms sales plan to Taiwan so as to safeguard the overall situation of Sino-US relations as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.
Yang made the remarks when he delivered a speech to members of the National Committee on United States-China Relations and the US- China Business Council here in New York on the sidelines of the annual general debate of the United Nations General Assembly.
Yang called on the US to fully recognize the great sensitivity and gravity of arms sales to Taiwan, attach high importance to and seriously treat China's solemn stance.
He also urged the US side to stop selling arms to Taiwan and ceasing its military links with Taiwan.
Regardless of China's repeated solemn representations, the US administration announced Wednesday a new arms package worth $5.852 billion to Taiwan, which includes the so-called " upgrading" of F-16A/B fighter jets.
Yang said respecting each other's core interest is the principle underpinning China-US cooperation.
"We should cherish our cooperation, as it embodies the important common interests of our two countries," said the foreign minister, adding "When it comes to major issues concerning China's sovereignty, security and development interests, the United States should handle them with extreme care so as to prevent interference and setbacks in China-US relations."
The Taiwan issue concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, concerns China's core interest and bears on the sentiments of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. It is always the most important and sensitive issue at the core of China-US relationship, he said.
The United States, Yang said, once again took the wrong decision of making large-scale arms sales to Taiwan in disregard of China's strong opposition and ignoring the improvement and peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.
"This has gravely violated the principles of the three Sino-US joint communiques, particularly the August 17 Communique, grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and seriously undermined China's security, its endeavor to achieve peaceful reunification and China-US relations. It runs counter to the serious commitment made by the US side itself. China is firmly opposed to this decision," said the foreign minister.
"The Chinese side urges the US side to take China's solemn position very seriously, correct the mistake of selling weapons to Taiwan, immediately revoke the above-mentioned wrong decision, stop arms sales to Taiwan and U.S.-Taiwan military contacts, and take real actions to uphold the larger interest of China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits," Yang noted.