Taiwan's new envoy says no arms sale freeze from US
Taiwan's new de facto ambassador to the US said on Friday there is no arms sale freeze from the US, despite recent acknowledgement of such a policy by a top US military commander.
"No one, particularly those in charge of the issue, told me they are going to freeze any arms sales," said Jason Yuan in a news conference in Taipei before assuming office in the US on August 4, reported dpa.
He said from the State Department to the Defense Department, no officials have said there would be an arms sale freeze for Taiwan.
Yuan said it has long been a US policy to supply defensive arms for Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, which governs US-Taiwan ties in the absence of official relations.
His comments came after Admiral Timothy Keating, head of the US Pacific Command, acknowledged last week that US arms sales to Taiwan had been frozen as US policymakers had seen no pressing need to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan due to warming relations between Taiwan and its rival China.
Yuan said after he assumes office in the US, he would push for the arms sales to be passed by the US Congress.
He said another priority in his work is to restore trust with the US, which was strained by the former government of pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the past eight years.
"One of the priorities in my work is to ensure that there is no surprise in our dealings with the US," he said.