China isn't likely to downgrade relations with the US over White House plans to sell $60 million in military spare parts to Taiwan, say Chinese sources in Peking.
One reason: The sale was planned before current Chinese-American talks on arms sales began. The US has pledged that it will make no new military sales to Taiwan so long as talks continue. President Reagan has abandoned campaign pledges to sell Taiwan the advanced F-16 fighter-bomber. But he has decided to continue coproducing the older F-5E fighter in Taiwan.
China, which wants a cutoff date for supply of US arms to Taiwan, has threatened to downgrade relations unless a solution is found. The US has countered with an offer to sell no more arms to Taiwan than necessary to maintain the island's current strength.