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Rice Warns Against EU Arms Sales To China

21 March 2005 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has issued a new warning against proposed European Union arms sales to China, saying such transfers could alter the military balance in Asia.

Rice, on a visit to Beijing today, said EU weapons sales to China would not, from the U.S. point of view, send the "right signal" in an area -- Asia -- where the United States has security interests.

Rice also said it was the wrong time for the EU to end its arms embargo on China because of rising tensions between China and Taiwan.

On North Korea, Rice said the United States could consider "other options in the international system" for ending the standoff over the country's nuclear weapons program if North Korea continues to refuse to return to six-country negotiations.

Rice gave no details on what could be considered by Washington for dealing with North Korea.