US to ensure Taiwan's self-defence

TOKYO: The United States will continue to meet its obligation to help Taiwan defend itself, a US military official said today amid a tense row with Beijing over US arms sales to Taipei.

The Pentagon on Friday approved the 6.4 billion-dollar sale of Patriot missiles, Black Hawk helicopters, mine-hunting ships and other weaponry to Taiwan, sparking furious protests from China.

But the United States assistant secretary of defence for the

Asia-Pacific region, Wallace

Gregson, said today in a speech in Tokyo that the United States remained committed to helping Taiwan arm itself.

“The United States is... obligated to ensure Taiwan’s self-defence capability, and the United

States fully intends to meet every one of our obligations there, and we will continue to do so into the future,” he said.

Gregson said that “we, the United States, have a very complex relationship with China. Our goal is to maintain a cordial, warm relationship with China, a cooperative relationship with China.”

He added: “We do obviously have areas where we disagree. We try and separate the area where we disagree from the areas where we can work productively.”

Gregson’s comments came

as China’s state media today

accused Washington of “arrogance” and “double standards”

in going ahead with the arms

sales to Taiwan.