Russia assures support to China on Taiwan issue

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 23, 2010 17:40 hrs

/RAI Novosti) Russia will continue to support China on the 'sensitive' issue of Taiwan, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

'Russia is very careful about (its) ties with China,' Putin said during a meeting in Moscow with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to succeed Hu Jintao as president.

'We have always supported China on the most sensitive issues, including the Taiwan problem,' Putin added.

The statement comes amid a simmering dispute over US arms sales to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a rebel region to be reunited with the mainland.

Tension rose sharply after the US said it would sell $6.4 billion worth of arms to Taiwan. Beijing has threatened to suspend military ties with Washington and impose sanctions against the arms exporters.

Relations were further soured between he two countries when US President Barack Obama received Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama at the White House in late February.

--IANS/RIA Novosti