US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said he would ask Beijing to back a new round of UN sanctions against Iran, AP reported. Negroponte, who is in the Chinese capital for talks with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo as part of the fifth semiannual US-China Senior Dialogue, planned to tell Beijing that Tehran’s alleged uranium enrichment and missile development programs remained a threat. Sudan, Taiwan’s planned referendum on UN entry, North Korea’s nuclear program and human rights were also on the agenda for discussion. China has strong commercial ties with Iran and, alongside Russia, its fellow permanent member of the UN Security Council, has been reluctant to endorse action against Tehran. According to the recent US National Intelligence Estimate, Iran stopped working on a secret nuclear weapons program in 2003.