China Says U.S. ‘Entirely’ to Blame for Strained Ties

Region: ,

(Adds arms sale in fourth paragraph.)

China said the U.S. should respect its “core interests” and is “entirely” responsible for strained ties amid a visit from two American envoys, following spats over issues from Internet freedom to arms sales.

“The responsibility for the current difficulties in China- U.S. relations goes completely to the U.S. side,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said today in Beijing. The U.S. should respect China’s interests to get relations “back on the track of sound and healthy development.”

Qin’s comments come as Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Senior White House Asia adviser Jeffrey Bader visit Beijing March 2-4.

The most recent disagreement between the U.S. and China comes after the House and Senate foreign affairs committees allowed a proposed $6.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan to go forward. The U.S. Defense Department wants to sell Taiwan the most advanced Patriot anti-missile system, which is built by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co.

The system, valued at $2.8 billion, would add to Taiwan’s network of 22 missile sites around the country to defend against a Chinese attack. The proposal also includes UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters costing $3.1 billion made by United Technologies Corp. and Boeing Co. Harpoon missiles at a cost of $37 million.

After the planned sale was announced Jan. 29, China said it would suspend military-to-military contacts with the U.S. and impose sanctions on the companies that make the weapons.

U.S. ‘Regrets’ Sanctions

“We think the defensive arms will contribute to the security in the region,” Philip J. Crowley, secretary of state for public affairs, said in a Feb. 1 press briefing in Washington. “We regret that the PRC has announced sanctions against the U.S. companies.”

President Barack Obama’s Feb. 18 meeting with the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, also angered China, eliciting a swift rebuke. The U.S. action “grossly violated the norms governing international relations,” Ma Zhaoxu, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said in a statement after the meeting.

Google Inc. said in January it may exit China on grounds that user e-mail accounts were being hacked. China has also taxed American chicken imports after the U.S. imposed tariffs on Chinese tires, and the nations have differed on steps to halt global warming and nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.

With assistance from Michael Forsythe in Beijing. Editors: Patrick Harrington, Dave McCombs.


To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Forsythe in Beijing at +8610-6649-7580 at [email protected].


To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Austin at [email protected]

Articles by: Global Research

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