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High-tech sanctions against China lifted

The Bush administration lifted high-technology sanctions against China on Friday _ the 20th anniversary of former President Nixon's arrival in Beijing _ after deciding to accept China's word that it would comply with restrictions on missile sales to the Middle East. The action came despite information compiled by U.S. intelligence that China has billions of dollars in contracts over the next several years to sell weaponry and nuclear and ballistic missile technology to nations including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Pakistan, sources said. The administration had imposed the sanctions last June. Then Secretary of State James Baker elicited a promise from China to observe the 1987 Missile Technology Control Regime during a visit to Beijing last November. Critics have said Bush is too lenient with China. On Tuesday, the Senate is to vote on whether to impose conditions on renewal of most-favored-nation trade status for China when the current certification expires in June.

VA hospitals won't be used by non-veterans

The Bush administration Friday canceled plans to open two veterans' hospitals to non-veterans after the Senate voted 91-3 to withhold federal financing for the demonstration project. The project, which was to have included veterans' hospitals in Tuskegee, Ala., and Salem, Va., had been opposed by veterans who feared the plan would diminish the quality of health care the hospitals could offer. The test program, which was to have been run jointly by the VA and the Department of Health and Human Services, had been designed to improve access to health care in rural areas by sharing the available facilities.

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