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China Pledges Commitment to Non-Proliferation of WMD - 2003-12-03


China has issued a position paper detailing its strong support for an international mechanism to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

The document was released today (Wednesday) and lays out what China says is its commitment to preventing weapons of mass destruction from falling into the wrong hands.

It says China does not support, encourage or assist any country in developing weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery.

Other nations, including the United States, have alleged in the past that China has been sharing nuclear technology and materials with countries in the developing world -- including Pakistan, Iran and North Korea.

The newly released position paper stresses that international cooperation is essential in any non-proliferation effort. And, in what has been interpreted as criticism of U.S. policy in Iraq, the Chinese government says unilateralism and double standards must be abandoned and that great importance should be given to the role of the United Nations.

Beijing issued its statement just one day after U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton warned that the United States will act to prevent the transfer of nuclear and ballistic missile technology to Iran.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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