US and China set to clash after sanctions: Friction grows over Peking's human rights record and chemical shipment to Iran
Friday 27 August 1993
A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry described the sanctions as 'entirely unjustifiable' and insisted that China had not violated an international arms agreement. But he did not deny the allegation made by Washington: that China had sold technology for nuclear-capable M-11 ballistic missiles to Pakistan.
Under international non-proliferation guidelines, it is illegal to sell missiles with a range of more than 186 miles; the range of the M-11 is more than 300 miles. After months of dithering about what to do about the alleged sale, the US announced on Wednesday that it was banning exports of certain hi-tech products to China - a relatively limited embargo which mostly applies to satellites and related equipment and is unlikely to affect China's booming economy.
The move, which seems certain to lead to retaliation from the Chinese, is being seen in Washington as a sign that the Clinton administration is on course for a series of unpleasant tussles with China over a number of issues. 'We're very close to a hostile confrontation,' Richard Solomon, a China specialist from the Rand Corporation told the Los Angeles Times yesterday. 'There is a nexus of pressures that are building.'
The 'nexus' has several components. First, the Clinton administration has been pressing the Chinese for months to improve their human rights record. Officials claim to have been particularly outraged by the treatment of a leading Chinese dissident, Han Dongfang, whom the Chinese refused permission to return after he made a trip to the US. Peking has postponed a visit by the US Assistant Secretary of State, John Shattuck, who is assigned to discussing human rights problems between the two countries.
The Chinese have been annoyed by Washington's opposition - framed in a congressional resolution - to Peking's effort to persuade the International Olympic Committee to locate the 2000 Olympic Games in China. Nor have the Chinese taken kindly to the role the US has played in the dispute of the Yinhe, a Chinese ship which the Americans claim is carrying a shipment to Iran containing material for Tehran's chemical-warfare programme. Peking, which denies the allegations, makes it clear that it considers the conduct of the US, which has tracked the ship with warships, as provocative and bullying.
Some in the US argue that the growing friction has been building for some time, but did not surface publicly until after the US renewed China's most-favoured-nation status in June - trading privileges which enormously benefit both sides. As the agreement is not due for renewal for another 10 months, now is a good time for a dust-up.
MANAMA, Bahrain - The Yinhe, shadowed by a US Navy destroyer, docked yesterday at King Abdul-Aziz port in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, for inspection, AP reports.
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...