China snubs Gates request for visit over US arms sales to Taiwan

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Washington/ Beijing, June 3 (ANI): China has snubbed and rejected a request from US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to visit Beijing after Washington's recent move to provide arms to Taiwan, which Beijing sees as a renegade province.

Gates had been hoping for months to visit Beijing and aides to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had confidently predicted that Gates would be able to go to Beijing after meetings she held there last month.

But Beijing declined to extend an invitation.

Pentagon officials said no specific reason was given.

But they said they assumed China was still annoyed by the Obama administration's announcement in January that it would approve 6.4 billion dollars in arms sales to Taiwan, the Washington Post reports.

The first stop on Gates's trip will be Singapore, where he will attend a regional security conference. Then he will travel to Baku, Azerbaijan, to try to fortify U.S. military supply routes to Afghanistan, many of which cross Central Asia. He will visit London to meet with leaders in the new British government, then stop in Brussels for talks with NATO allies. (ANI)

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