Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Washington is urging Egypt to hold competitive presidential elections this year and for Arab states to open their voting booths to women.

She made the comments in an interview with The Washington Post  about the Bush adminstration's global goals for democracy.

Ms. Rice predicted this year's vote in Egypt will not look like American elections despite President Hosni Mubarak's pledge to hold multi-party elections. But she said the election process must be open and competitive.

The secretary of state also spoke of Russia and China.

She said Moscow must not be allowed to feel isolated amid the popular uprisings in former Soviet republics. Ms. Rice said Russia's cooperation during recent events in Kyrgyzstan has been much better than the tensions last year in Ukraine.

She also said Chinese leaders recently told her they want improved relations with Taiwan, which she called "a good next step."