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Vice Premier Qian Qichen is in Washington. He is the highest ranking Chinese official to visit since the Bush administration took office. Qian will meet with the president tomorrow at the White House. China's top concern right now is a decision Mr. Bush must soon make on U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Taiwan wants to buy advanced anti-missile technology (Aegis destroyers) but China is adamantly opposed to such a sale. If the sale goes through, some analysts say China will drop the more moderate stance it has recently adopted toward Taiwan. Other analysts say China's views should not be a factor in any U.S. decision to sell weapons to Taiwan.

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