Christopher Soft-Pedals Sanctions Issue

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Secretary of State Warren Christopher dismissed reports on Wednesday that the U.S. would impose sanctions in response to flagrant Chinese disregard of agreements to contain the spread of nuclear technology and restrict software and video piracy. American officials have few doubts that the Chinese government sold Pakistan 5000 specialized magnets used to produce enriched uranium, and have further evidence that the Chinese have allowed copyright piracy to continue largely unhindered. Christopher admitted that he had not made a policy reccomendation to the White House yet, but called U.S.-China relations "of extreme importance", and said that he wants to "improve communications" with Beijing. Christopher's equivocation could indicate the administration is unlikely to take a hard line on China in the near future. "The administration is moving carefully and slowly," says TIME's Lew Simons. "We are likely to see limited sanctions, and since the State Department seems to be trying to balance strategic and and econonic concerns, it is likely to choose limited sanctions based on intellectual property rights violations, than the more contentious nuclear proliferation issues."