- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2002

China spoke out yesterday against U.S. sanctions imposed last week on nine Chinese companies suspected of transferring sensitive technology to the Middle East.
"We strongly object to sanctions imposed on China based on U.S. domestic law," said Xie Feng, press counselor at the Chinese Embassy, during his first U.S. news conference.
"China has always supported the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction," Mr. Xie said. "In fact, we have been looking toward the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of all weapons of mass destruction."
The Washington Times reported Friday that new sanctions on the Chinese involved three cases of sales of advanced conventional arms and chemical and biological components to Iran between September 2000 and October 2001.
It was the fourth time since September that the United States has penalized Chinese companies for transferring arms-related material or technology to Iran.
The sanctions bar the unidentified companies from doing business with the U.S. government or American companies.
Objections to the sanctions were also raised in Beijing.
"We have a series of laws and regulations in place, and strictly enforce the rules on exporting such items," said a Foreign Ministry statement faxed to news agencies. "The Chinese side objects to the United States' unjustifiable sanctions."
While generally praising recent progress in U.S.-China relations, Mr. Xie dismissed reports that a rapid increase in Beijing's defense spending was creating a "China threat," as stated in two recent American reports.
"The threat to Sino-U.S. relations, the threat to world peace doesn't lie in China but rather in these people who have fabricated this China threat," he said, insisting China's history proves it is a peaceful, non-expansionist country.
Two commissions, one a Pentagon panel and the other a congressional group, recently described China as a potential military and economic threat.
Mr. Xie also repeated a call for a halt in U.S. arms sales to Taiwan (officially called the Republic of China), saying such sales infringe on China's sovereignty and pose a "serious threat to China."
The U.S. must "stop selling sophisticated arms to Taiwan, stop any official contacts with Taiwan, stop sending wrong signals to Taiwan," he said.
Mr. Xie would not address published reports that President Jiang Zemin may be reconsidering his intention to step down as general secretary of the Communist Party in September.
Nor would he comment on reports that a Communist Party Congress scheduled for September would be postponed.
On a positive note, Mr. Xie welcomed bilateral cooperation on terrorism, saying that "terrorism should be combated everywhere it appears, such as in East Turkestan."
That is the historic name for a part of the western, mostly desert region of Xinjiang, home to a Muslim people called the Uighur who, since the 19th century, have staged periodic uprisings against Chinese rule.
China says Uighur rebels should be included in the worldwide war on terrorism, though this view is not generally accepted in the United States.

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