BEIJING, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- China Thursday urged the United States to "speak and act cautiously" in a bid to avoid further damage to bilateral ties.
The statement was made by Huang Xueping, spokesman for China's Ministry of National Defense, when asked to comment on a report released recently by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) claiming obsoleteness of fighter planes owned by the military in Taiwan.
DIA, which is affiliated to the Pentagon, also indicated in a January evaluation report to the Congress that the combat capability of the military in Taiwan has been adversely affected by the poor conditions of fighter jets the military has in Taiwan.
There were opinions saying that the U.S. Congress would in turn push the Pentagon to sell advanced C/D versions of the F16 fighter jets to Taiwan which has been seeking such a deal but has not yet succeeded.
"We are highly concerned about the report," said Huang,"because Taiwan issue is a matter of great significance to China's core benefits."
The recent U.S. arms sale to Taiwan has greatly harmed China's national security and core benefits, and caused setbacks in the relationship of China and the United States and of the militaries of both countries, said Huang.
"The American arms sale has also caused severe damages to the overall cooperation between China and the United States, and to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," said the spokesman.
China has protested the recent U.S.arms sales to Taiwan, and decided to suspend related military exchange programs thereafter, vowing to impose sanctions against those U.S. companies involved.
"Our stance with regard to the decision to suspend the related military exchange programs has remained unchanged," said Huang, who also emphasized the responsibility lies with the American side for a difficult situation in Sino-U.S. military exchanges.
Huang asked the U.S.side to take down-to-earth measures and to fully respect core benefits and safety concern of Chinese side.
"We demand the U.S. side speak and act cautiously in a bid to avoid further damage to the relationship between the two nations and militaries of the two countries, and to the peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait," said Huang.