US nuke part deliveries to Taiwan irks China

March 27th, 2008 - 12:47 am ICT by admin  

Beijing, March 26 (DPA) China Wednesday expressed its “strong dissatisfaction” about the delivery of US nuclear warhead parts to Taiwan that Washington divulged the day before while admitting there had been a mistake. “We express our serious concern and strong dissatisfaction,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “We urge the US to conduct a thorough investigation and inform the Chinese side … truthfully.”

He also repeated China’s demand that the US should stop arms sales to Taiwan “so as to avoid damaging the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the healthy and stable development of Sino-US relations”.

Beijing’s reaction followed Tuesday’s developments, when the Pentagon disclosed that the US had mistakenly shipped fuses for detonating nuclear warheads to Taiwan, but recovered the items after learning of the incident last week.

The shipment in the fall of 2006 did not contain any nuclear or fissile material, and had been safely stored in Taiwan until the US military was notified by Taiwanese authorities of the mishap, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne told reporters.

The Pentagon has launched an investigation into how the four fuses, intended for installation in the nose-cones of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), were sent in place of a Taiwanese order for helicopter batteries, Wynne said.

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