(CNN) -- Taiwan will never ask the United States to fight against China on its behalf, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said in a CNN interview.
"We will continue to reduce the risks so that we will purchase arms from the United States, but we will never ask the Americans to fight for Taiwan," Ma told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview that aired Friday. "This is something that is very, very clear."
He added that the risk to the United States of a conflict between China and Taiwan is the lowest in 60 years as a result of his government's efforts to build a rapprochement with Beijing.
"In the last two years, as a result of our efforts to improve relations with the Chinese mainland, we have already defused the tension to a great extent," he said.
"All these agreements contribute to prosperity and stability in Taiwan and nothing in these agreements compromised Taiwan's sovereignty or autonomy," he added.
Taiwan's relationship with the United States remains a tender issue for China, however.
China expressed outrage at a U.S. decision in January to sell Taiwan more than $6 billion worth of weapons, including Patriot air defense missiles, Black Hawk helicopters, and mine-sweeping ships. The package did not include new F-16 fighter jets that the Taiwanese government has been seeking from the United States.
Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its sovereign territory, said the arms sales damage China's national security. It demanded that the United States respect what it called China's core interests and rescind the decision.
Ma, however, said the arms sale is very important to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
"If the U.S. reduces arms sales to Taiwan below the current level, it will reduce confidence in this part of the world. Taiwan needs the arms to defend this country and its democracy," he said.