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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

China, U.S. Resolve Nuclear Sale Tussle

BEIJING -- China and the United States on Saturday defused a row over Beijing's alleged sales of nuclear weapons related technology, but ties between the two remained tense as a trade war loomed over Chinese copyright piracy.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman formally announced that China strictly observed the nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty as part of a deal to avert U.S. sanctions over alleged Chinese sales of nuclear arms-related technology to Pakistan.

"China pursues the policy of not endorsing, encouraging or engaging in the proliferation of nuclear weapons, or assisting other countries in developing such weapons," the official Xinhua news agency quoted the spokesman as saying.

The announcement followed Washington's decision Friday not to impose sanctions on Beijing for the alleged sale to Pakistan of $70,000 worth of ring magnets that can be used to enrich uranium.

The United States rescinded its threat to impose targeted sanctions on China under the 1994 U.S. Nuclear Non-proliferation Act after winning assurances from Beijing that it would not make such sales in the future.

The long-awaited resolution of this row opened the way for the U.S. Export-Import Bank to begin approving loans and loan guarantees for more than $11 billion in American business projects in China.

However, the two giants remain locked in a dispute over alleged Chinese copyright piracy that threatens to turn nasty next week.

On Friday, Beijing said it had drafted its own list of U.S. imports that could be targeted if Washington next Wednesday goes ahead with its promise to unveil a list of Chinese goods that could be hit with sanctions.

Washington has said it would publish a preliminary list of $3 billion worth of such imports unless China improves enforcement of a 1995 agreement to halt piracy of U.S. music, films and computer software.

A U.S. trade official was due to arrive in Beijing this weekend to try to settle the row, although U.S. President Bill Clinton has said he does not expect a full-blown trade war.

A senior Chinese official rejected U.S. allegations of rampant copyright abuse, the China Daily reported on Saturday.

Wang Huapeng, director of copyright administration at China's National Copyright Administration, said China had scored great successes in cracking down on copyright piracy.