Sunday, December 02, 2007

China (along with Russia) flexing its muscles more and more vis a vis a weak US lead by a jackass

China says ties with US damaged, amid naval row

US actions over Tibet and Taiwan have damaged relations between China and the United States, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Thursday amid a row over US naval calls to Hong Kong.

"Recently, due to the erroneous practices of the US, relations have been disturbed and harmed," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.

Liu cited a US congressional medal awarded to the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in October as one of the reasons for the damaged ties. China views the Dalai Lama as a dangerous figure seeking independence for Tibet.

Liu also referred to Washington's recent approval of about three billion dollars' worth of weapon sales to Taiwan. China views Taiwan as part of its territory that must eventually be reunified, by force if necessary.

Liu gave his comments when questioned as to why China had blocked US naval vessels from entering Hong Kong recently, moves that have angered senior politicians and military figures in the United States.

He did not directly link the blocked naval visits to Taiwan and Tibet, but said China's decisions on whether to allow the vessels into the southern Chinese territory were a question of national sovereignty.

"On the issue of port visits, China acts in accordance with the principles of its sovereignty and approves specific visits on a case-by-case basis," Liu said.

In regards to the highest-profile incident, involving the USS Kitty Hawk not making it to Hong Kong for a Thanksgiving holiday stop last week, Liu insisted that the vessel had been given approval to visit.

US officials have said China initially denied entry, then only gave permission after the Kitty Hawk had left the area and relatives of the sailors who had travelled to Hong Kong had also gone.

The issue was raised in a Wednesday meeting in Washington between President George W. Bush and visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who called the whole affair a "misunderstanding," a White House spokesman said.

The United States said Wednesday it had protested to China over the incident. Liu said Beijing had not received any such protest.

"We have taken note of the reports. I want to clarify that all the reports are not true," Liu said when asked about Yang's comments, according to Xinhua news agency.

Original article posted here.

No comments: