China blasted US weapons sales to Taiwan Thursday and threatened to end bilateral cooperation on non-proliferation issues if the United States did not immediately remove economic sanctions against China.
In an effort to address the issues ahead of a summit between presidents George W. Bush and Jiang Zemin, Chinese Foreign Minster Tang Jiaxuan will visit Washington on September 20-21, foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said.
"What is urgent at the moment is that the US repeal its sanctions against China so as to refrain from undermining cooperation between China and the US on non-proliferation issues," he said.
The US on Saturday slapped sanctions on the China Metallurgical Equipment Company for allegedly exporting missile technology to Pakistan.
The sanctions came despite a deal in November 2000 in which the Chinese government pledged to crack down on the proliferation of nuclear-capable missiles and their components.
Zhu said China had fulfilled its commitments to the November agreement, and accused Washington of going back on its side of the bargain to allow China to resume launching US-made satellites on Chinese carrier rockets.
"The US has not only failed to fulfill its commitments, but has also decided to implement sanctions on China," Zhu said.
"This is totally groundless and irresponsible... and casts doubt on the sincerity of the United States to fulfill relevant understandings." -- BEIJING (AFP)