China to halt sales of missile parts

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The Independent Online
Washington - China agreed yesterday to halt sales of its missile technology to Pakistan in return for the lifting of the economic sanctions imposed by Washington against Peking 14 months ago, reports Rupert Cornwell. The Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, called the decision a 'very important step forward'.

The deal, reached during a visit to the US by the Foreign Minister, Qian Qichen, covers deliveries by China of parts for missiles with a payload of 1,100lb (500kg) and a range of at least 180 miles (300km), the smallest categories defined by international treaties on missile technology. Although Peking has always denied selling such technology to Pakistan, it agreed to observe a worldwide ban on such exports. For its part, Washington is removing the 1993 sanctions that halted dollars 500m ( pounds 318m) of high-tech sales to Peking. The move will reduce the growing US trade deficit with China.