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China Refutes US Sanctions against Chinese Chemical Companies

May 23, 1997

China is resolutely opposed to the United States imposing sanctions on Chinese companies and persons pursuant to its domestic law, Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang stated in Beijing on May 23, 1997.

China demands that the US side cancel the sanctions immediately, Shen said, noting that such sanctions are totally groundless.

The US announced on May 22 that it will impose sanctions on two Chinese mainland companies and five Chinese citizens for the proliferation of chemical weapons pursuant to its domestic law.

Shen said that China earnestly performs its obligations as a signatory of the Chemical Weapons Convention and guarantees the attainment of the purpose and objectives of the convention, including the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of chemical weapons and the promotion of international trade and scientific and technological exchange in the chemical industry to turn achievements in chemistry into substantial benefits for humankind.

He said that China opposes the development of chemical weapons by any country, let alone assist any other country in developing such weapons. China exercises export controls over sensitive chemical products and relevant equipment and technology in strict accordance with the schedules and stipulations of the Chemical Weapons Convention. It does not export any chemical products or the technology and equipment for turning out such products, he said.

He pointed out that relevant regulations of the convention guarantee the smooth process of normal international trade and cooperation in the chemical industry. The trade activities that the relevant Chinese companies and persons carried out in the chemical industry are normal ones of international trade and in no way violated the purposes and objectives of the Chemical Weapon Convention, he said.

Shen said that both China and the US are signatories of the convention. They both are duty bound to strictly abide by the obligations of the international law under the convention. They should act completely and accurately in accordance with the provisions of the convention, he said.

He pointed out that China does not recognize that any country has the right to place its domestic law above international law.

Chinese Companies Protest against US Sanctions

May 23, 1997

The Nanjing Chemical Industries Group and Jiangsu Yongli Chemical Engineering and Technology Import/Export Corporation issued a joint statement on May 23, 1997, resolutely opposing and protesting the United States imposing irrational sanctions on the two companies.

The full text of the statement is as follows:

We are surprised to learn that the government of the United States made groundless accusations that Nanjing Chemical Industries Group and Jiangsu Yongli Chemical Engineering and Technology Import/Export Corporation are engaged in the activities of proliferating chemical weapons, and declared to impose sanctions upon these companies. Thereby we make the solemn declaration that follows:

Our two companies have carried out chemical trade and commercial activities strictly in accordance with the international trade norms and the relevant laws of China. We have accurately reported to higher authorities every relevant export deal in accordance with regulations. We have never violated the laws and decrees of China, neither have we violated the Chemical Weapon Convention. The US government's accusation that our companies pursue activities of proliferating chemical weapons is absolutely drawn from the air. The so-called sanctions by the US government against our companies are indeed completely without the backing of international law and a brutal intervention in normal international trade and commercial activities. The above-mentioned activities of the US government have severely damaged the fine reputation of our two companies.

We definitely cannot accept the groundless accusation made by the US government against us. We feel utmost indignation and express diametrical opposition to and strong protest against the unreasonable sanctions that the US government has imposed on us.

In order to safeguard the legitimate interests and reputation of our companies, we demand that the US government should immediately cancel the unreasonable sanctions that it imposed on our companies.

Nanjing Chemical Industries Group

Jiangsu Yongli Chemical Engineering and Technology Import/Export Corporation

May 23, 1997

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