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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

(State Department addendum to 2/4 Einhorn testimony)

Washington -- Following is the text of a State Department fact sheet, entitled "China's Record on Nuclear Arms Control and Nonproliferation," issued with the testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation Robert J. Einhorn before the House Committee on International Relations February 4:

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China's Record on Nuclear Arms Control and Nonproliferation

On January 12, 1998, President Clinton made the certifications required by Public Laws 99-183 and 101-246 for implementation of the 1985 U.S./China Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation. These certifications were forwarded to the Congress for the statutory period of Congressional review along with the "Unclassified Report to Congress on the Nonproliferation Policies and Practices of the People's Republic of China." A classified version of that report was also forwarded to the Congress. Those reports traced the positive evolution of Chinese policy with respect to arms control, nuclear nonproliferation and export controls and a developing Chinese appreciation for the value of multilateral nuclear export control efforts.

The following examples of positive developments in Chinese policy are drawn from the reports to Congress and demonstrate why the Administration believes that the legislative requirements for implementation of the U.S./China Agreement have been met.

  • Although initially critical of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the cornerstone of the nuclear nonproliferation regime, China adhered to the NPT in 1992.
  • In 1994, Beijing played a constructive role with North Korea in promoting the October 1994 U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework, under which the North agreed to freeze and eventually eliminate its nuclear weapons program.
  • Also in 1994, China joined with the United States in calling for the negotiation of a multilateral agreement banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.
  • In 1995, China supported the successful effort to indefinitely extend the NPT.
  • In 1996, China ceased testing nuclear weapons and signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
  • On May 11, 1996, China committed not to provide assistance to unsafeguarded nuclear facilities.
  • With respect to nuclear export controls, China issued a State Council Circular in May 1997 providing interim controls over nuclear and nuclear-related dual-use exports. In September, China promulgated detailed nuclear export control regulations which incorporated the internationally-agreed "trigger list" of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). In October, China announced that it would promulgate formal nuclear-related dual-use export controls by mid-1998. These controls will be based on the list of dual-use items controlled by the NSG.
  • On October 16, 1997, China joined the NPT Exporters Committee, also known as the Zangger Committee, as a full member. This is the first instance in which China has participated as a full member in a multilateral export control group dedicated to the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. During the October meeting, China released a comprehensive statement outlining its nuclear export control policies and practices.
  • China has terminated its plans to provide power reactors and a uranium conversion facility to Iran, as well as other facilities that might have significantly contributed to a nuclear infrastructure supporting Iranian nuclear weapons ambitions.
  • China has provided a clear assurance that it is not going to engage in new nuclear cooperation with Iran, and that it will terminate all existing cooperation within a relatively short period of time.
  • In 1997, China joined with other members of the IAEA in negotiating and then recommending that the IAEA Board of Governors adopt a new safeguards arrangement that will strengthen the IAEA's ability to detect undeclared nuclear activities in states with comprehensive safeguards agreements.

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