China Critical With Regard To US Intention To Quit ABM Treaty

In the present-day conditions, it is very important to preserve the existing international system of control over arms and disarmament, said PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin in telephone conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President George W. Bush late on Thursday evening. During these conversations, the sides discussed the situation around the ABM Treaty of 1972 and the intention of the American leadership to withdraw from it. The Chinese head of state, who is staying on a official visit in Myanma (former Burma), said that China would do everything it takes "to defend peace and stability on our planet, in conjunction with other countries." Several hours before the telephone talks, spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Chang Ciyoue said in Beijing that China was against the Treaty's abrogation and expressed deep concern about the United States' plans. She underscored that Washington's withdrawal from the Treaty would spur on the arms race and upset strategic stability.