Monday, March 7, 2005

Leave Taiwan out of military ties: China

China has warned the United States and Japan against including Taiwan in their military pact.

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing says that although Beijing seeks better ties with Washington and Tokyo, growing military cooperation between the US and Japan should be strictly bilateral and not encompass Beijing's arch-rival, Taiwan.

Speaking to reporters in the Chinese capital, Mr Li also sought to calm fears that the lifting of a European arms embargo on China would lead to an attack against Taiwan.

As a developing country, he said, China doesn't have the money to buy a lot of weapons from European countries.

Mr Li said removing what he called the political discrimination of the embargo was more important to China.

But his remarks are unlikely to convince those in Washington who believe that to lift the embargo could pit European hardware against American if the United States were drawn into a conflict over Taiwan.

By China? 7 March 05