China hopes the two main U.S. presidential candidates will continue to promote good bilateral relations, particularly over the Taiwan issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Thursday.
"Appropriately handling the Taiwan issue is the crucial political foundation of Sino-U.S. ties," Qin said at a regular press conference.
He was commenting on a question regarding the support of Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama for the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan.
Qin reiterated China's "clear, firm and grave protest" against the arms deal worth 6.5 billion U.S. dollars.
"Thirty years of bilateral ties have showed that when the Taiwan issue was properly handled, the base for Sino-U.S. relations would be protected and it could develop further. If not, the Sino-U.S. relationship faces difficulties," he said.
Now that the U.S. government and various social circles valued ties with China, they should be sensitive to the Taiwan issue, which constituted the political foundation of China-U.S. ties, Qin said.
"We expect U.S. presidential candidates can realize this and stick to the one-China policy, observe the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, oppose 'Taiwan independence' and advance bilateral ties," he said.
He said China had repeatedly opposed the arms sale in a clear, solemn and resolute manner.