- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 28, 2001

BEIJING — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, arriving in the Chinese capital early today, said he is intent on confronting China about military and weapons exports in violation of agreements.
He planned to meet with President Jiang Zemin, Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and other Chinese leaders.
Mr. Powell was expected to voice strong U.S. objections to "all Chinese transfers of missiles and weapons of mass-destruction-related technology to other countries," White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said in Washington.
"The United States expects China to live up to its nonproliferation commitments, and we will continue to press China to adhere to those policies," Mr. Fleischer said.
The secretary of state's visit to China comes days after Beijing deported several U.S.-based scholars following convictions on charges of spying for Taiwan. Most received 10-year sentences.
President Bush and Mr. Powell had pressured China to release the scholars, and Beijing granted medical paroles. The action was an apparent attempt to prepare the way for a successful visit by Mr. Powell. The U.S. secretary is the highest-level official to hold talks with the Chinese after months of tension that began with the April 1 collision of a U.S. reconnaissance plane and a Chinese jet near China. The U.S. crew was held for 11 days.
The Bush administration has made human rights a priority.
"Our relations with China represent some serious opportunities, particularly on the trade front. [They] also represent particular challenges involving human rights," Mr. Fleischer said.
On arms sales, at issue is China's compliance with a November 2000 agreement in which Beijing promised not to sell missiles or components to countries developing nuclear weapons. The agreement was a breakthrough because it addressed U.S. concerns over suspected Chinese assistance to Pakistan, Iran and North Korea.
Mr. Powell called China's compliance record mixed — "some successes, some areas that need improving."
Mr. Fleischer's comments were more strongly worded. "It's important for the United States to continue to press China, as Secretary Powell and as the president will continue to do so," he said.
A senior official traveling with Mr. Powell said that Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan told the secretary of state at a conference in Vietnam this week that China was putting in place an export-control system.
Mr. Powell was meeting with top Chinese officials during his 24-hour visit.
During his stop yesterday in Seoul, Mr. Powell bore a message for its reclusive, northern neighbor — Washington is ready for talks with Pyongyang any time, anywhere, with no preconditions.
Mr. Powell also sent a strong signal of encouragement to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, who was on his way to Moscow by train for his first official foreign trip anywhere other than China.
"I hope very much that Chairman Kim Jong-il will visit Seoul this year," Mr. Powell told a news conference after meeting South Korean Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo.
His comments were a reminder that the clock is ticking down on South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who won a Nobel Peace Prize last year for engineering the first intra-Korean summit since the two Koreas' 1950-1953 war.
Mr. Kim is constitutionally barred from running again in 2002.

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