- 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.
- 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
can reach an agreement that would justify the lifting of U.S. sanctions
that have delayed the export of American communications satellites to
- 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.
- WASHINGTON WILL 'BE
- "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
- As for the American position, he said: "We've told
them before. We haven't changed in five months. It's still the
- If there is time, the United States may also use the
meeting to voice its concern about China's biological weapons
- China's priorities are to talk about lifting the
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
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
with the United States and other key countries, the senior official
- 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
to Pakistan and other countries reflects the limits of this key
which has improved dramatically in recent months.
- BACKGROUND OF SANCTIONS
- The sanctions were imposed on Sept. 1 on the China
Equipment Corp. for allegedly transferring ballistic missile technology
to Pakistan in violation of a November 2000 agreement with the United
- 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
nuclear weapons and to abide by the Missile Technology Control Regime,
a voluntary international accord that tries to limit missile exports to
- 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
- 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
- An Asian diplomat said China did not appear to have
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
where Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the U.S. attacks, and his
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