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China Vows Sanctions Against US Companies Will Go Forward

  • Peter Simpson

The rift between China and the United States looks far from healing as Beijing reiterates its plan to punish U.S. companies following disagreements between the two countries.

Beijing's anger at Washington over a range of issues from arms sales to Taiwan and the U.S. president's meeting with Tibet's exiled leader the Dalai Lama, showed no signs of abating Tuesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang reaffirmed punitive sanctions against American companies would go ahead, because of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. In addition, China is angry over U.S. positions on a number of issues, including trade, human rights and allegations of Chinese cyber-attacks on U.S. organizations.

He says it is up to the United States to heal relations.

Qin says that China demands that the U.S. seriously regard China's position and take credible measures to undo the damage done. And, he says, sanctions against U.S. companies will go ahead.

Qin refused, however, to say when sanctions would come into effect.

Washington also is concerned about how China will react on international issues such as efforts to halt nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.

Qin did not speculate on whether Beijing's stance toward North Korea will be affected by the rift, saying China will continue to seek peace and stability in the region.

And he urged further negotiations to resolve the international standoff over Iran's nuclear program - calling on Tehran, the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Russia to "show flexibility".

Qin says Beijing - a close ally of Iran with oil interests in the country - had "taken note" of the International Atomic Energy Agency report that says Tehran could be working on a nuclear warhead.

He says China - one of five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council - hopes the Iranian nuclear issue would be solved through diplomatic means.

The United States and other countries are considering imposing tough new sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear program. Beijing, however, has opposed sanctions.