Thursday, February 25, 2010

China faces balancing act in Iran nuclear issue

Peoples Republic of China's Vice Minister of F...Image via Wikipedia

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Moshe Ya'alon, right, Israel's Deputy Prime Minister, walks toward a car after

BEIJING – Renewed calls for sanctions against Iran for its nuclear ambitions have forced China to engage in a tough balancing act between appeasing its close trading partner and supporting international efforts to isolate Tehran.

The arrival of an Israeli government delegation in Beijing on Thursday underscored the important role China plays as one of the five U.N. Security Council members that could veto sanctions for Iran. An Israeli spokesman singled out Iran as a topic for discussion. The group, led by Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli minister in charge of strategic affairs, will meet with China's senior foreign policy adviser Dai Bingguo during the two-day visit.

The U.S., Israel and others believe Iran is hiding nuclear weapons development under the guise of a civilian energy program. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, also says it's worried Iran may be working on a nuclear warhead.

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