China to hold military drills near Taiwan

TEHRAN, Apr. 15 (MNA) – China will hold military exercises near Taiwan in response to US provocations, the Chinese Defence Ministry said.

In April, the US State Department approved the possible $95 million sale of contractor technical support and equipment for the Patriot air defence system to Taiwan. China has repeatedly condemned US assistance to the government in Taipei as interference in the country's domestic affairs, Sputnik reported.

Taiwanese news agency CNA reported that a delegation of six US congressmen, headed by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, arrived on the island on Thursday on an unannounced visit for talks with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and National Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng.

In response, Beijing said it firmly opposes any official contact between the US and Taiwan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said that the US "should abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués" and stop any form of "official exchanges with Taiwan and avoid going further down this dangerous path."

Prior to that, the Pentagon said it had got the US State Department's approval of a possible $95 million deal with Taiwan that will include training, fielding, deployment, operation, maintenance and sustainment of the Patriot system as well as associated equipment.

RHM/PR

News Code 185731

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