BEIJING (AP) – China’s president has voiced strong opposition to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan in a telephone conversation Friday with President. Bush, the Beijing government said.

President Hu Jintao told Bush China would “absolutely not tolerate Taiwan independence and absolutely not allow anyone to split Taiwan from China,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its Web site.

Hu reiterated China’s stance against U.S. weapons sales to the island it considers part of its territory, the ministry said. Hu stressed to Bush that the Taiwan issue is “very sensitive and complicated,” the ministry said.

Taiwan, which lies 100 miles off China’s southern coast, is considering a plan to spend $18 billion on anti-missile systems, planes and submarines from the United States.

On Friday also, the government’s China Daily newspaper said a senior Chinese official similarly warned that it would be an “unwise move” for Taiwan to buy more advanced weapons from the United States.

Wang Zaixi, vice minister of the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office also said that Beijing won’t rule out war with Taiwan if the island’s president pursues his plan to adopt a new constitution by 2008, the newspaper said.

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian has said he plans to introduce a new constitution for the island when his term ends in 2008.

The United States has no formal relations with Taiwan’s democratically elected government, but it has strong informal ties and is the island’s top arms provider.

China and Taiwan split in 1949 amid civil war, and the Beijing government has threatened to retake the island by force if it declares formal independence.

Hu told Bush that while China wants to resolve the Taiwan issue peacefully, both China and the United States have a duty to act against “adventurous attempts by separatist forces,” the ministry said.

According to China, Bush reaffirmed his support for the “one-China policy,” which doesn’t support Taiwan independence.

Bush also “expressed his understanding of China’s concerns over the Taiwan issue” and said a strong, prosperous China is in line with U.S. interests, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry account.

It didn’t say what Bush said about arms sales specifically.

On Friday also, the government’s China Daily newspaper said a senior Chinese official warned it would be an “unwise move” for Taiwan to buy more advanced weapons from the United States.

AP-ES-07-30-04 2255EDT



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