State Dept. praised by Chinese media for postponing Taiwan Arms Sale, April 13, 2011

Chinese state-run media last week praised the U.S. State Department’s delay of a multi-billion arms package to Taiwan.

The Zhongguo Qingnian Bao Online, daily newspaper of the Communist Youth League of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, reported April 8 on a Washington Times report that Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg was among the key officials holding up an arms sale to upgrade Taiwan’s fleet of 145 F-16 jets.

The report noted a debate over the arms package but stated that "postponing the arms sale was still of positive significance in a certain sense."

The propaganda outlet, which reflects Beijing’s effort to force the United States to end all arms sales to Taiwan, stated that "another round of arms sales would once again set back bilateral relations."

"This time, with consideration being given to the more important interest of avoid causing a rift to relations with China, the United States postpone arms sales to Taiwan," the report said.

"The Chinese government has twice suspended military relations with the Pentagon because of the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan," it stated.

"If the United States does not stop its arms sales to Taiwan and continue to do things that hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, then it is possible that Sino-U.S. relations may be set back once again. That will not only cause ill feelings between the two peoples, but may also cause diplomatic hostility and stagnation in military cooperation, and even affect economic and trading relations between the two countries, thus causing losses to the U.S. economic interest."

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