- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 7, 2001

The Bush administration said yesterday it will impose economic sanctions on China if it does not curb exports that enhance other nations' missile capabilities.
But Washington first will try to design a system of missile export controls through "expert talks" with Beijing, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said yesterday.
He said the goal of those talks will be to improve Beijing's "mixed results" in implementing a November pledge not to assist foreign missile programs.
China in the past has denied it engages in missile proliferation and has linked the issue to U.S. weapons shipments to Taiwan.
In Taipei yesterday, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he backed President Bush's decision earlier this year to sell Taiwan eight submarines and four Kidd-class destroyers, the biggest arms package for the island in a decade.
As a result of China's promise on foreign missile shipments, the Clinton administration announced nine months ago that it would waive sanctions required by U.S. proliferation laws for sales of missile technology and related equipment.
However, because Beijing has continued sending shipments — most recently to Pakistan, The Washington Times reported yesterday the United States may be forced to resort to the requirements of the Missile Technology Control Regime.
"That is certainly not our preferred course, although we would certainly follow U.S. law if it came to that," Mr. Boucher said.
"But first and foremost, what we want to see is that the Chinese abide by the [November] agreement and implement their new system of controls effectively," he said.
A senior State Department official said later that Washington hopes to start the talks in time so that they can "produce resolution" before Mr. Bush's visit to China in October.
Mr. Boucher noted that Washington's "policy goal" is to "stop sales and assistance to missile programs in other countries" and "to get a better, firmer, international regime that prevents missile transfers."
"We look forward to expert talks where we can get together with the Chinese, hear from them what they've done, what they are doing, and hear from them about some of the specific transactions that have caused concern," he said.
He declined to comment specifically on The Times' report that a state-run Chinese company had sent a dozen shipments of missile components to Pakistan.
But he said Washington has been "watching very closely the issue of Chinese missile transfers" and expects Beijing to abide by the November deal.
"We intend to do our part of that agreement if we know that the Chinese are doing their part," Mr. Boucher said.
"And so we've had a number of discussions with the Chinese over time about specific transactions, about the kind of mixed results in terms of that agreement," he said.
He added that a date for the talks has not been set but that Washington expects "to do that in the near future."
The Times, quoting intelligence officials familiar with reports on the transfers, said yesterday that China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corp., known as CMEC, supplied the missile components for Pakistan's Shaheen-1 and Shaheen-2 missile programs.
A U.S. spy satellite detected the latest shipment as it arrived by truck at the mountainous Chinese-Pakistani border on May 1. It was one of 12 missile component transfers sent by ship and truck detected by U.S. intelligence agencies since the beginning of the year, the article said.
The missile components are being used to produce the Shaheen-1, which has an estimated range of 465 miles, and to develop the Shaheen-2, which U.S. intelligence agencies think will have a range of up to 1,240 miles.
Both missiles are strategic systems capable of carrying nuclear warheads, U.S. officials said, which directly violates China's promise not to assist foreign missile programs that can be used to deliver nuclear warheads.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell raised the issue, as well as other nonproliferation matters, with Chinese officials during his visit to Beijing on July 28, Mr. Boucher said.
The United States also has expressed concern over Pakistan's improving nuclear capabilities, which could spark an arms race with India.
On the Taiwan issue, Mr. Biden said the Bush administration had clarified that a pledge by the president that the United States will "do whatever it takes" to defend Taiwan against China did not represent a policy shift.
"It's very important [that] we do not create any misimpression, any misunderstanding about what our positions are," he said.

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