- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 8, 2001

Just days after Secretary of State Colin Powell returned from China, Beijing is daring the United States to passively watch as it violates weapons agreements and inflicts a new round of abuses on its citizens. In so doing, the country is making it clear that they regard the secretary's trip and President Bush's upcoming visit in October as a mere opportunity to have a masquerade party.

Of course, that's not how they see things. "China keeps its word" and has not violated its agreement with the United States to not help other countries build missiles able to deliver nuclear weapons, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said. Premier Zhu Rongji had backed the claims that China had not been exporting missile technology in May, as he was about to leave for Pakistan.

So how exactly does China keep its word, which it verified in no fewer than 15 arms nonproliferation treaties with the United States? It sends a dozen shipments of missile parts for the Shaheen-1 and Shaheen-2 missiles, which can travel up to 1,240 miles, as Bill Gertz reported in The Washington Times on Monday. Both missiles are able to carry nuclear warheads. The missile components were exported from the China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corp., and the most recent shipment to Pakistan was spotted by a U.S. satellite as they arrived on the Chinese-Pakistani border May 1.

How do such incidents play out in the United States' relationship with China? "Everybody would agree that China is a rising power in the Asia Pacific , and therefore we have a number of security issues in conflict," National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said in a meeting with editors and reporters of The Washington Times last week. "The Chinese do resent the American presence in the Asian Pacific. They think China ought to be the major power in the Asia Pacific. That's really what the EP-3 incident was all about." The future of the U.S.-China relationship, she said, "depends on whether China takes the position of adversary."

On human rights, they have. While China had little official comment on Mr. Powell's criticism of China's human rights record during his visit, it has made clear what they think about it. For instance, in the poor Huaiji region, where population control officials have not upheld the one-child-per-family rules, the county is being ordered to force 20,000 abortions by the end of the year, the London Sunday Telegraph reported. In order to ensure women are not pregnant, county officials are buying expensive ultrasound equipment. If women are found with child, an abortion is ordered on the spot. Women whose pregnancies have been approved will be sterilized as soon they give birth. County teachers, policemen and clerks will have to pay for the new equipment out of their own paychecks of $72 a month, even if they don't approve of the procedure.

The Bush administration is planning more talks and considering economic sanctions, Nicholas Kralev of The Times reported yesterday, if China continues to assist foreign missile programs. These options are on the table because Beijing isn't concerned with the unraveling U.S.-China relationship.

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