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President says arms control key after US drops ABM (12/13/01)

President Jiang Zemin said China wants multilateral efforts to ensure global stability following the US decision to abandon the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

"Under the current situation, it is very important to safeguard the international arms control and disarmament system," Jiang said.

"China is willing to work with other countries to make efforts to safeguard world peace and stability," Jiang said from Myanmar, where he is on a state visit.

Ahead of President George W. Bush's announcement on Thursday that the United States would withdraw from the ABM treaty in six months, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said on Thursday China was concerned by the decision and called for talks on the issue.

Jiang discussed the US decision in telephone conversations with Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

China had strongly opposed US withdrawal from the treaty, which would allow Bush to press ahead with plans for a missile defence system, which China fears would trigger a new round of arms race.

 
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