US Will Again Ask China To Stop
Giving Pakistan Missile Technology
By Carol Giacomo
Diplomatic Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States, underscoring a post-Sept. 11 pledge to defeat terrorism, will hang tough in high-level talks with China Friday and renew a demand that the Chinese curb missile cooperation with Pakistan, a senior U.S. official said.
U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya are expected to hold the most extensive senior-level nonproliferation talks between their countries since President Bush took office in January.
The Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington have added urgency to the goal of halting the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons that could fall into the hands of extremists.
Expectations are low, however, that Washington and Beijing can reach an agreement that would justify the lifting of U.S. sanctions that have delayed the export of American communications satellites to China.
China asked for Friday's meeting.
Bush told Chinese President Jiang Zemin in Shanghai last month that "nonproliferation is a serious issue," another official told Reuters. "You've got to deal with it. You can't have the kind of relationship with the United States that you want until we deal with it," the official said, summarizing Bush's message.
The White House denies any advance knowledge of what Wang may say.
"We don't have any reason to believe the Chinese position has changed," the senior official said Thursday, adding: "But we'll be listening. ... We'll be interested to hear what they say."
As for the American position, he said: "We've told them before. We haven't changed in five months. It's still the same."
If there is time, the United States may also use the meeting to voice its concern about China's biological weapons program.
China's priorities are to talk about lifting the sanctions and to learn the status of U.S. missile defense negotiations with Russia, the senior U.S. official said.
The U.S. preference would be to deal with Beijing's "proliferation behavior" across a range of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, he said.
But, "frankly, if they can't address the missile sanction issue, then there is not a lot of point in talking about other aspects (of proliferation) at this stage," he added.
Failure to find common ground would show that the Chinese "are fundamentally not willing to engage in a common course of conduct" with the United States and other key countries, the senior official said.
Beijing has impressed Washington with its willingness to support the U.S. anti-terror campaign following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
But discord over transferring missiles and other technology to Pakistan and other countries reflects the limits of this key relationship, which has improved dramatically in recent months.
The sanctions were imposed on Sept. 1 on the China Metallurgical Equipment Corp. for allegedly transferring ballistic missile technology to Pakistan in violation of a November 2000 agreement with the United States.
The penalties include a U.S. refusal to issue licenses to U.S. companies to launch satellites on Chinese rockets.
Under the November 2000 accord, China pledged not to assist any country developing ballistic missiles that can be used to deliver nuclear weapons and to abide by the Missile Technology Control Regime, a voluntary international accord that tries to limit missile exports to unstable regions.
China publicly denied breaking the accord, although U.S. officials said it told a different story in private.
In private talks, China argued that sanctions should be waived in return for a new pledge that missile technology transfers will not take place and Beijing will finally carry out an old promise to tighten export controls.
But the administration lost patience. In the past two decades, China has promised six times not to transfer missiles and missile technology, yet has broken each pledge by arming Pakistan, Syria, North Korea and possibly Libya, according to U.S. Senate and intelligence sources.
China has made clear to Washington that it views its ties with Pakistan as long-standing and integral to its security.
Congressional experts said they believed Beijing was committed to a military technology supply relationship with Pakistan despite U.S. objections.
An Asian diplomat said China did not appear to have expanded cooperation with Pakistan since the Afghan war began.
The sanctions issue is particularly awkward because the United States recently lifted proliferation-related sanctions on Pakistan. Pakistan has become America's crucial front-line ally in the war in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the U.S. attacks, and his allies are based.

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