China Reiterates Opposition to U.S. Defense Bill Provisions

China reiterated its opposition to provisions in a U.S. defense bill that allow sales of F-16 fighter aircraft to Taiwan and acknowledge Japan’s administration of disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China is “seriously concerned” about the legislation that was approved by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 21 and urged America to promote the “stable development” of relations with China. Her comments were in a statement on the central government’s website today.

The bill, which authorizes Defense Department programs and spending for the fiscal year 2013 that started Oct. 1, was approved by the House on Dec. 20 and will now pass to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

The two amendments related to China will harm relations between the world’s two biggest economies, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said in a Dec. 20 commentary. The Obama administration should reject the provisions to help foster a new type of relationship based on mutual respect and benefit, the English-language commentary said.

The section relating to the disputed islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, constitutes “a gross violation of China’s sovereign rights,” Xinhua said. The amendment calling for the sale of advanced fighter jets to Taiwan is a “blunt interference in China’s internal affairs” and breaks previous pledges made by the U.S. to phase out arms sales to the island, it said.

The U.S. legislation calls for $640.7 billion for the Pentagon and related defense programs at agencies such as the Energy Department for the year. It would also impose new and expanded sanctions on Iran’s energy, shipping and financial services sectors.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Feifei Shen in Beijing at fshen11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

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