- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 3, 2003

BEIJING — China revealed in unusual detail yesterday its methods of preventing dangerous weapons from falling into the wrong hands, outlining its approach to nonproliferation just days before its premier visits Washington.

At the same time, the Beijing government chided the United States’ actions to root out such weapons, saying “unilateralism and double standards must be abandoned” — an allusion to pre-emptive U.S. military action in Iraq this year, which China opposed.

The comments, in a “white paper” on nonproliferation, dovetailed with a major theme of the communist government’s foreign policy in recent years: to establish China as a country that will follow international rules.

“The proliferation of [weapons of mass destruction] and their means of delivery benefits neither world peace and stability nor China’s own security,” according to the report.

China said it had ensured that an array of procedures and penalties was in place to prevent companies from transferring technology or materials that could be made into chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. “No license, no exports,” the report said.

China detailed government agencies responsible for monitoring technology exports that could be used for weapons. The agency-by-agency citations create a higher possibility of accountability.

The report made no specific mention of North Korea, China’s neighbor and communist ally, which is embroiled in a dispute with the United States over its nuclear ambitions. China has acted as a mediator of sorts, playing host to a six-nation meeting to resolve the disagreement.

In a clear swipe at the U.S. approach in Iraq, China said many nations must work together through established channels to ensure that prevention of proliferation is “democratic.”

Staff writer David R. Sands contributed to this story from Washington.

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