The United States President George W Bush may reiterate American concerns about nuclear proliferation by Chinese entities to Pakistan when he meets Chinese President Hu Jintao in Hanoi during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting later this week.
"As far as China's relationship with Pakistan is concerned, we have on many occasions spoken very clearly to the Chinese government about our concerns about proliferation and proliferation by Chinese entities to Pakistan," a senior administration official said.
"So if the issue were to come up, I think that would be reiterated," he said during a background briefing on Bush's trip to Vietnam.
The official was commenting on a suggestion that China and Pakistan may sign an agreement on nuclear cooperation when Hu meets Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf later this month.
In reply to another question, he said, "I'm sure the Dalai Lama issue, as it has before, will come up between the two leaders because of the importance that we have placed on believing that a dialogue needs to be a strong dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama to move toward some resolution of a very longstanding issue."
"As you probably know, this president has a personal strong interest in the subject of religious freedom worldwide, and every meeting he's had with a Chinese leader since he came into office he has discussed the issue of personal freedom and religious freedom.
"He puts it in this context, and I think it's important to understand, he believes that it is good for China.
It is not so much that the United States is asking China to do something that is being imposed on them, but rather that China and President Hu talk about creating a harmonious society.
"Harmonious societies, in our view, are societies where people are allowed to express their personal individuality, their personal freedom, the right to gather and worship in a fashion that they wish to."
"And so I think you can be assured that the president will, once again, raise these issues with President Hu during their meeting," the official said.