No redeployment plans from China: U.S.
CNAWASHINGTON -- China has never presented a concrete plan for redeployment of its missiles targeting Taiwan, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg said yesterday.
June 19, 2010, 12:38 am TWN
The remarks came after senior U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein told a Senate hearing Wednesday that China has proposed to reposition at least some of its military forces opposite Taiwan.
Steinberg said that theoretically, the United States welcomes any Chinese action or effort to reduce its threat to Taiwan. He added, however, that to the best of his knowledge, China has never tendered or spelled out any details about a military redeployment plan.
According to foreign wire service reports, Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates what Beijing would have to do for the Pentagon to reconsider U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, which she described as a “substantial irritant” to Washington-Beijing ties.
The reports quoted Feinstein as telling the hearing that during her recent meetings in Beijing, Chinese leaders had said they were willing to relax China's military posture in the Taiwan Strait in exchange for an end to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
In response, Gates defended U.S. arms deals with Taiwan, saying that they were based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), a U.S. law enacted by Congress to regulate engagements with Taiwan in the absence of official ties. For more than 30 years, successive U.S. administrations have upheld TRA provisions and supported arms sales to Taiwan.
Gates also cited as justification what he called an “extraordinary Chinese deployment of all manner of cruise and ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan on the Chinese side of the strait.”
Feinstein responded: “In my meeting with some of the leadership, it was mentioned that China had offered to redeploy back. Now I understand the word 'redeploy' isn't 'remove.' And I understand the nature of what's there and the number of troops.”
The senior Democratic senator visited China and Taiwan earlier this month and held talks with the countries' top leaders.