Powell Says China 'Subdued' about Missile Defense
Boese, Wade, Arms Control Today
Talking to reporters October 22, Secretary of State Colin Powell described Chinese officials as "rather subdued" about missile defense in recent months. Powell made his comments during a return flight from Shanghai, where he and President George W. Bush attended this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meetings.
Powell said that missile defenses came up during his Shanghai visit but that there "wasn't a lingering conversation" about the issue. Neither Bush nor Chinese President Jiang Zemin mentioned missile defenses during the brief press conference following their first-ever meeting October 19. A Chinese Foreign Ministry summary of the two leaders' talks suggested they focused on economic relations, cooperation against terrorism, and Taiwan, which China claims is the "most sensitive" issue in U.S.-- China relations.
At the United Nations, however, Beijing has recently been outspoken against U.S. missile defense plans. On October 10, China co-sponsored with Russia and Belarus a draft resolution supporting the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which the Bush administration says is an impediment to its missile defense plans and wants to scrap. A day earlier in a UN First Committee speech, Chinese Ambassador Hu Xiaodi called on the United States to stop development of "destabilizing missile defense systems. …