CHINA / National

Hu visit will address troublesome issues
Updated: 2006-04-05 11:31

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday a "long list" of "troublesome issues" will be discussed when Chinese President Hu Jintao comes here in mid-month for talks with President George W. Bush.

Rice said a a major topic will be how the United States can halt the spread of nuclear weapons, with particular reference to the situation in Iran.

Her comment appeared to reflect American unhappiness with China's reluctance to take a strong stand in the U.N. Security Council against Iran's nuclear program.

Rice commented in response to a question at a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee.

"I hope can have a detailed conversation with President Hu on religious freedom," Rice said. "I know it's a different system in China, but we have to stand for religious freedom everywhere."

She also said China should undertake changes to bring U.S.-China trade into greater balance.

The U.S. deficit with China was $202 billion (euro165.3 billion) last year. Rice did not specify the type of changes that she believes China should make.

Some critics attribute the deficit to an undervalued Chinese currency and to subsidies that China purportedly gives to companies to protect them from foreign competition.

Rice said the United States wants a "strong China" but one that is fully integrated in the international system and "is playing by the rules."

"We have a long list of extremely important issues with China that are troublesome," Rice said. She said the relationship at the same time has the potential to "make the world safer."


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