US blocks arms sales after Taiwan's sabre-rattling
Thursday 22 July 1999
By reaffirming in public statements its support for the concept of One China - recognition of Peking as the capital of all China and the theoretical acceptance of Taiwan as part of China - Washington dissociated itself from Taipei's latest claim to statehood.
However, it emerged yesterday that the Pentagon had postponed a visit by a defence delegation to Taiwan and was delaying an announcement on a new sale of surveillance aircraft to Taiwan. The Pentagon delegation was to have discussed, among other things, strengthening Taiwan's anti- ballistic-missile capacity.
US officials also disclosed that deliveries of spares for F-16 jets could be held up if Taiwan persisted in speaking of "state- to-state" talks with China. The use of this phrase in official documents 10 days ago infuriated China and put the US on guard against a new flare- up between Taiwan and China. But reports that China had put troops on alert were denied by Peking.
By yesterday, however, it appeared that the combination of Chinese warnings and lack of US support had forced Taiwan to backtrack. Although Taiwan continued to speak of "special state-to-state" contacts with China, it stressed there was no intention of amending its constitution to enshrine its claim to statehood in law.
The Taiwanese government spokesman also said that the Cabinet had debated for days the English and Chinese meaning of the contentious phrases and had decided to drop several phrases that had especially irked China, including "two states", "two Chinas" and "one China, two states".
Peking has never rescinded a long-standing threat to invade Taiwan if it acts on its claim of statehood.
Taiwan's apparent retreat came as Washington prepared to send special envoys to Peking and Taipei in an attempt to reduce tension.
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...