US warns China on Iran arms sales

China must stop selling weapons to Iran and do more to block Iranian weapons proliferation, a senior US state department official has said.

US warns China on Iran arms sales

Chinamust stop selling weapons to Iranand do more to block Iranian weapons proliferation, a senior US statedepartment official has said.

Thomas Christensen, deputy assistant secretary of state forEast Asian affairs, told US legislators that the Bush administration was alsoconcerned about Chinese investments in Iran's oil and gas sector.

 

 

"We have made clear to Beijingthat these types of investments, along with continued arms sales, send thewrong signal to the Iranian regime and raise serious concerns under US law," he told the House ofRepresentatives' Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia.

 

 

Chinadeserved praise for its efforts in securing the recent six-nation deal on North Korea'snuclear programme, Christensen said.

But, he said, Beijingneeded to take a stronger stand on a range of the other international issuesthat affected US interests.

Leverage

Christensen also noted China'sconsiderable influence in Sudanand said the US expected Beijing to use the leverage gained from its imports ofSudanese oil to persuade Khartoum to accept a UNpeacekeeping force in Darfur.

China,"with some justification, is seen as Khartoum'spatron and benefactor", he said.

Christensen's comments are the latest words of concern fromthe Bush administration over China'sgrowing influence on the world stage.

Last month Dick Cheney expressed worries over Beijing's military build-up, saying China's recentanti-satellite weapon test raised the prospect of an arms race in space.

Cheney's comments echoed earlier remarks fromCondoleeza Rice, the USsecretary of state, who said China'smilitary activities were "outsized for China's regional and even globalinterests".

Missiles

In his testimony on Tuesday Christensen also raised concernsover China's growingmilitary arsenal facing Taiwan,"as well as Beijing's refusal to renouncethe use of force against Taiwan".

"We believe these circumstances constitute importantfactors for instability in cross-Strait relations," he added.

USofficials say China hashundreds of short-range ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan.

China andTaiwansplit amid civil war in 1949.

Since then, the Communist mainland has repeatedly threatenedto attack if Taiwanmakes its de facto independence permanent.

Washington has no formaldiplomatic ties with Taiwanbut maintains extensive unofficial relations and has pledged to see that Taiwan has themeans to defend itself.

Source:Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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