BEIJING — China warned the United States today it may review its policies on arms control and non-proliferation due to U.S. plans to build missile defense systems over the United States and northeast Asia.

China was willing to participate in arms-control talks and treaties only on the condition that they did not undermine the global strategic balance or Beijing's own security interests, the China Daily quoted a senior Foreign Ministry official as saying.

Beijing would not sit back and watch its legitimate security interests be undermined without taking countermeasures, it quoted Sha Zukang, head of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Arms Control and Disarmament, as saying.

The warning comes after China said it would consider resuming a dialogue on nuclear non-proliferation with the United States this year if bilateral relations developed smoothly.

That was Beijing's response to a request by U.S. national security adviser Sandy Berger last month to reopen non-proliferation talks suspended after NATO planes bombed China's embassy in Yugoslavia in May last year, killing three Chinese and injuring 27.

The United States wants to use the talks to press China to control exports of materials, equipment and technology for chemical and nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs to countries including Pakistan and Libya.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on Thursday Washington had voiced concern to China over reports Beijing was aiding Libya's long-range missile development efforts.

Washington is pressing China to join the 31-nation Missile Technology Control Regime, although Beijing has vowed not to violate the pact which, in simplified terms, bans the export of missiles that exceed the 190-mile range.

Sha said China had cooperated with Western countries on arms control and non-proliferation, citing its signature of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty banning nuclear tests and support for the Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty.

However, such efforts were being undermined by U.S. plans to construct a National Missile Defense system covering the United States and a Theater Missile Defence system in northeast Asia, which China fears could be used to protect Taiwan, he said.

Sha criticized "a certain superpower" for advancing its first-strike capability while developing the NMD system, which would neutralize a counterstrike from a smaller nuclear state.

China was angered by U.S. refusal to ratify the CTBT and Washington's attempts to change or withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.