Title: The US is greatly concerned that China may have sold ballistic missile components to Iran. EPF Includes Transcript. DoS Report. (950622)
ADD STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, THURSDAY, JUNE 22 (China/Iran) (600) NEWS BRIEFING -- Spokesman Nicholas Burns discussed the following topics: CONCERNS CITED ON ALLEGED CHINESE SALE OF MISSILE PARTS TO IRAN The United States is greatly concerned by allegations that China may have sold ballistic missile components to Iran and is actively looking into them, the spokesman told questioners.
"We have raised our concerns with the government of China in the past," he said. "We will continue to do so. We had intended to raise this issue at a June 12 meeting" between Robert Einhorn, deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, and his Chinese counterpart, Burns said. But the Chinese cancelled that meeting.
"The question of Chinese cooperation with Iran in the missile area is of great concern," the spokesman said, adding "we've had a similar concern with the government of Russia on nuclear energy related technology."
He noted that the administration has had a series of discussions with the Chinese government regarding allegations of the sale of missiles and missile components to Pakistan in 1993. "In the fall of 1994, we reached an agreement with the government of China on its commitment to Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) guidelines," Burns pointed out.
At an April 17 meeting in New York, Secretary of State Christopher and Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen agreed there should be periodic mid-level and expert-level talks between the two governments on this particular issue.
Subsequent to that, the United States has had a number of concerns about alleged proliferation. "We have taken the reports of alleged proliferation very seriously, and we continue to monitor and evaluate the reports of any transfers that could contribute to missile programs," Burns said.
The canceled June 12 meeting between Einhorn and his Chinese counterpart was among the meetings the two ministers had agreed would take place. The U.S. regrets the cancellation very much and hopes "the Chinese government will agree that it's important that we have an ongoing and specific dialogue on this issue," Burns said.
"We have not made a determination as to whether or not China's activities constitute a violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime guidelines to which they are committed, or of U.S. sanctions law," the spokesman emphasized.
"This is a matter that is under review and will remain under review and will remain at the top of our agenda with the Chinese government," he said. "We're looking forward to an opportunity to pursue these expert-level talks so that we may bring these issues to the specific attention of Chinese officials."
U.S. sanctions will not be imposed against China "in the absence of information that is incontrovertible that China is in violation of international agreements," Burns emphasized.
"The only responsible course to take," he said, "is to make a decision on sanctions when the evidence is available, when it's incontrovertible, and when we have an agreement in this government at a very high level that that is the case." Burns added: "We are not at that point."
The spokesman said the U.S. understands the Chinese government is "strongly dissatisfied" with the U.S. decision to issue a visa to President Li Teng-hui of Taiwan for a private visit to the United States.
"We have a one-China policy. That policy is abundantly clear to the leadership in Beijing. We intend to pursue our relationship with China seriously," Burns said. "We need to have expert-level talks on this particular issue of missile technology as well as on other subjects."