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Mainland reaffirms opposition to U.S.-Taiwan arms sales

BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese mainland spokesman on Wednesday reaffirmed the country's opposition to arms sales by the United Statesto Taiwan and urged the superpower to adhere to the one-China policy.

"Our stance toward U.S. arms sales, as you are clearly aware, is that we firmly oppose them," Yang Yi, spokesman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, told a press conference.

Responding to a Taiwanese reporter's request for comment on Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou's recent intention to continue purchasing U.S. weapons, Yang said, "We also hope that the U.S. strictly abides by the three Sino-American joint communiques and the one-China policy."

"Cross-Strait issues have to be eventually settled by Chinese living on both sides," Yang said. "We hope that both the mainland and Taiwan make joint efforts to create a new situation for the development of cross-Strait relations, and benefit compatriots and the Chinese nation."

The People's Republic of China established diplomatic relations with the United States on Jan. 1, 1979. The three joint communiques achieved by the two countries respectively in 1972, 1979 and 1982 have played a key role in normalizing bilateral ties.

According to the Aug. 17 Communique made in 1982, the United States does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan and it intends gradually to reduce such sales to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time, to a final resolution.

In reply to a question about possible joint efforts with Taiwan authorities to safeguard the Diaoyu Islands, Yang said, "The mainland has proposed that the two sides make contact at an appropriate time to discuss military issues such as the establishment of a mechanism for cross-Strait mutual trust in military security."

"We will continue this effort and hope that the two sides can maintain cross-Strait peace with joint efforts," Yang said.