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US Policy on Arms Sales to Taiwan (Taken Question)

Taken Question
Daily Press Briefing
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 18, 2008

United States Policy on Arms Sales to Taiwan (Taken Question)

QUESTION: Yeah. Thank you very much. It's (inaudible) of Phoenix TV of Hong Kong.

MR. MCCORMACK: Yes.

QUESTION (PHOENIX TV OF HONG KONG): My question is regarding Taiwan. What is the current position of U.S., you know, regarding on arms sales to Taiwan? Has it changed, the position?

MR. MCCORMACK: The short answer is no. But let me reiterate for you what our policy is. The Administration faithfully implements the Taiwan Relations Act, under which the United States makes available items necessary for Taiwan to maintain a sufficient defense. There is an internal interagency process for the United States Government to consider all military exports, including sales to Taiwan. When the interagency process achieves a final decision for specific arms sales, we will notify Congress. We do not comment on specific weapons systems under consideration. And you should all know that we faithfully carry out the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act.

QUESTION: So can I follow up? Is it true that it is frozen for the arms sale for a while, you know?

MR. MCCORMACK: I have stated the U.S. Government policy on this matter.

QUESTION: Sean, a follow-up? Admiral Keating of the PACOM - I mean the U.S. Commander of the Pacific Command - he said the other day that - you know, he actually - he confirmed that there is actually a freeze on the arms sales to Taiwan. So do you have any comment about his, you know, comment?

MR. MCCORMACK: I saw those remarks. And what I would do is I would point you to what I have just given you as the official United States Government policy that is applicable for all U.S. Government agencies, whether it's the Department of Defense, Department of State or any other part of the U.S. Government. So I would look to this statement that I've just given you as the official U.S. Government policy position.

QUESTION: So what is the process of the, you know, interagency negotiations?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, it's not interagency negotiations. There's an interagency review process, as I've just outlined for you.

QUESTION: A quick follow-up, sir?

MR. MCCORMACK: Yes.

QUESTION: Admiral Keating also said that decision made by the U.S. leaders indicates that there is no pressing and compelling need for, at this moment, arms sales to Taiwan. Does the State Department agree with that?

MR. MCCORMACK: Again, what - I'll repeat. What I have just given you is the official United States Government position that applies across the United States Government, all department - all cabinet agencies. This is the U.S. Government position.

QUESTION: So, Sean, there's no freeze on the arms sales issue?

MR. MCCORMACK: Can repeat for you - here is the United States Government position.

***

READ THE COMPLETE BRIEFING:

US State Dept Daily Press Briefing: July 18, 2008

ENDS

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