- The Washington Times - Friday, August 24, 2001

A U.S. delegation, in Beijing to discuss arms-proliferation curbs, failed yesterday to obtain a clear pledge by China to abide by its commitment last year to limit its exports of missile technology.
The State Department said the delegation had been prepared to extend its stay another day if progress in the talks justified it, but decided instead to return today. The issue has been of major U.S. concern, amid recent reports that China has sent missile-component shipments to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, in Taiwan earlier today, the chairman of the House International Relations Committee, Rep. Henry J. Hyde, Illinois Republican, called on the Bush administration to declare publicly its support for the eventual replacement of China's Communist regime by a democratically elected government.
He made his remarks in a speech prepared for delivery to a business group in Taipei.
The State Department said yesterday's U.S.-China talks were "detailed" and "candid," but not sufficient. However, the interagency delegation was led by Vann Van Diepen, acting deputy assistant secretary of state.
"We'll need to do additional work to clarify China's willingness to implement fully the terms of the November missile agreement," said State Department deputy spokesman Philip Reeker.
The Chinese government reached an agreement with the Clinton administration in November not to engage in exports that enhance other nations' missile capabilities. As a result of China's promise, Washington announced that it would waive sanctions required by U.S. proliferation laws for sales of missile technology and related equipment.
But earlier this month, after reports about violations of China's pledge appeared in the press, the Bush administration criticized China's record as "mixed." It also said it would be forced to resort to the requirements of the Missile Technology Control Regime and impose economic sanctions if Beijing does not abide by the pact.
"That is certainly not our preferred course, although we would certainly follow U.S. law if it came to that," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told an Aug. 6 news briefing.
A senior State Department official said earlier the United States hoped the expert-level talks would "produce resolution" before President Bush's visit to China in October.
The Washington Times, quoting intelligence officials familiar with reports on the transfers, reported on Aug. 6 that a state-run Chinese company, China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corp., known as CMEC, supplied components for Pakistan's Shaheen-1 and Shaheen-2 missile programs.
Both China and Pakistan have denied the report, and in the past China has linked the nonproliferation issue to U.S. weapons shipments to Taiwan.
"We expect China to live up to its nonproliferation commitments and will continue to press them to adhere to the policies and practices consistent with international standards," Mr. Reeker said yesterday.


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