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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Navy Times.Com > U.S. to sell ships to Taiwan

Associated Press

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The United States plans to announce next year that it will sell Taiwan four anti-missile warships equipped with the high-powered Aegis radar system — a move rival China has fiercely opposed, a Taiwanese newspaper reported Monday.
Delivery of the ships could begin by 2011, the mass-market China Times said in a front-page story that only cited unidentified “authoritative sources.”

Taiwan has been trying to buy the ships for years. But the United States has refused to sell them to the island, fearing the sale might seriously raise tensions with China.

Beijing insists the self-ruled, democratic island belongs to China and has repeatedly threatened to use force to take it over. The two sides split amid civil war in 1949, and Beijing strongly discourages nations against selling advanced weapons to Taiwan.

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