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China: U.S. arms sale to Taiwan will disrupt military exchanges, joint drills

A defense official on Wednesday said the latest U.S. arms sale to Taiwan will disrupt China-U.S. military exchanges and joint drills.

"In light of the serious damage resulting from the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan, planned China-U.S. military exchanges, including high-level visits and joint exercises, will definitely be impacted," Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a monthly press briefing.

Geng's comments came a week after the U.S. government notified Congress of its decision to sell arms worth 5.85 billion U.S. dollars to Taiwan, including upgrades for 145 of Taiwan's fighter jets.

Geng issued a statement condemning the sale, saying the move will create severe obstacles for military exchanges between the U.S. and China.

Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army of China, spoke by phone to Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen about the issue last Friday at Mullen's request, according to Geng.

"Mullen gave explanations for the U.S. arms sale, while Chen expressed China's solemn stance on the issue," Geng said.

Geng urged the United States to take immediate and effective measures to dispel any negative impact that the arms sale has had on bilateral military relations.

He called on the United States to honor its commitment regarding the Taiwan issue, stop selling arms and take practical measures to work for the healthy and steady development of China-U.S. military relations.

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