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February 07, 2005 

State Department Reiterates U.S. Concerns Over EU and Russian Arms Sales to China

John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, has expressed strong concerns about European and Russian arms sales to China. Speaking to a conference in Tokyo on Monday, Bolton said arms embargoes and other sanctions are important to send China a message that its record on human rights is unacceptable. Bolton noted that that arms sales to China by the European Union and Russia are a "very grave concern" and could threaten strategic stability in East Asia. The European Union embargo on major arms sales to Beijing, imposed in 1989, is widely expected to be lifted this year -- a move consistently opposed by the United States and Japan. Bolton indicated that the Bush administration is most worried that sophisticated computer and communications technology, known as "battlefield management,""will end up in the hands of the Chinese."American technology licensed to European companies might also find its way to China, so that we would, in effect, face our own technology being used against us," Bolton said. Bolton also indicated that the Bush administration would move aggressively to impose sanctions on companies that provide sensitive weapons technology to Iran and other countries seeking to build weapons of mass destruction. He stated that the Bush administration, during its first four years in office, has already imposed sanctions against Chinese entities on 62 occasions.

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