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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Fact Sheet:China: Nuclear-Weapon Proliferation Prevention

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China


China has strictly implemented its non-proliferation obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It has all along adhered to the policy of not advocating, encouraging or engaging in the proliferation of nuclear weapons and not assisting other countries in the development of nuclear weapons. China firmly opposes the proliferation of nuclear weapons in any form to any country.

I. China has consistently supported and participated in the international cooperation to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons. China is committed to the improvement of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and the implementation of its obligations in earnest.

?In 1984, China joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and voluntarily place its civilian nuclear facilities under the safeguards of the IAEA.

?In September 1991, the Chinese Government announced that it would, on a continuing basis, notify the IAEA of China's export to or import from a non-nuclear-weapon state of any nuclear material over one effective kilogram.

?China acceded to the NPT in 1992.

?In February 1993, China formally undertook that it would voluntarily notify IAEA of all its export and import of nuclear material as well as its export of nuclear equipment and related non-nuclear material.

?In May 1996, China undertook not to provide assistance including nuclear export and personnel and technological exchanges and cooperation to the nuclear facilities not under IAEA safeguards.

?In October 1997, China became a full member of the Zangger Committee.

?In December 1998, China signed the Protocol Additional to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement and in March 2002 formally completed the domestic legal procedures necessary for the entry-into-force of the Additional Protocol, thus becoming the first nuclear-weapon state to have the Additional Protocol in effect.

?China actively supports and participates in the safeguards activities of the IAEA and has submitted 9 nuclear facilities to the IAEA safeguards.

?In January 2004, China formally submitted its application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

?China supports the international efforts against nuclear terrorism and played an active role in the formulation of the Convention Against Nuclear Terrorism.

?China is a State Party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. We have actively supported and participated in the negotiation to amend the Convention. In April 2003, China and the IAEA jointly held a successful regional training course on enhanced physical protection.

?China supports the international efforts to tighten the control of radioactive sources and took an active part in the Conference on the Security of Radioactive Sources held in Vienna in March 2003.

II. In recent years, the Chinese Government has, in pursuit of the rule of law, constantly strengthened and improved the legal system of nuclear export control to ensure the effective enforcement of its non-proliferation policy. China has adopted nuclear export controls consistent with international practices.

?China exercises stringent control and administration over nuclear export, unswervingly abided by the three principles of guarantee for peaceful purposes only, acceptance of IAEA safeguards, and no retransfer to any third party without prior approval of the Chinese side.

?China's nuclear export control system embodies international practices such as exporters' registration, end-user and end-use certification, licensing system, principle of non-proliferation-oriented examination and approval, list control method, and the "catch-all" principle. China's List of the Control of Nuclear Export and the List of the Control of Nuclear Dual-Use Items and Related Technologies Export cover all items and technologies on the lists of the Zangger Committee and the NSG.

?Since its accession to the IAEA, China has established a State System for the Accountancy and Control of Nuclear Materials and a Nuclear Material Security System that measures up to the requirements of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

?In 1987,the Chinese Government promulgated the Regulations on the Control of Nuclear Materials instituting a licensing system for nuclear materials. It designated the department for supervision and control of nuclear materials and defined its duties, the measures for nuclear materials control, the application for, and examination and issuance of nuclear materials licenses, the management of nuclear materials accounting, the accountancy of nuclear materials, the physical protection of nuclear materials, and relevant incentives and punishments.

?In May 1997, the Chinese Government issued a Circular on Questions Concerning the Strict Implementation of the Nuclear Export Policy of China, which explicitly stipulates that nuclear materials and equipment and related technologies should not be provided to or used in nuclear facilities that are not subject to IAEA safeguards.

?In September 1997,the Chinese Government promulgated the Regulations on the Control of Nuclear Export, which stipulated that no assistance of any kind should be provided to nuclear facilities that are not under IAEA safeguards, that only entities designated by the State Council may engage in nuclear exports, and that the State would implement a nuclear export licensing system. The Regulations also provide for a rigorous examination system for nuclear export, severe violation punishments and a comprehensive and detailed control list.

?In June 1998, the Chinese Government promulgated the Regulations on the Control of Nuclear Dual-Use Items and Related Technologies Export, instituting strict controls on the export of nuclear dual-use items and related technologies and a licensing system for related exports. It established a registration system for exporters, clarified procedure for the examination and approval of exports, and defined punishments for violations of the Regulations.

?The Amendments to Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China adopted in December 2001 designate as criminal offences such acts as illegally manufacturing, trafficking and transporting radioactive substances and stipulate corresponding criminal punishments for such offences.

?According to the relevant regulations of the Chinese Government, China's nuclear export comes under the control of the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), jointly with other relevant government departments.

?In February 2002,the Chinese Government promulgated the Provisions on the Administration of Safeguard and Supervision of Nuclear Import & Export and Foreign Nuclear Cooperation

?On 3 December 2001, the Chinese Government issued a white paper entitled China's Non-Proliferation Policy and Measures, which gives a comprehensive account of China's non-proliferation policies, measures, export control systems, export control laws and regulations, the division of responsibilities and coordination of relevant export control departments, investigation and handling of violations, etc., including those in the nuclear field.

?China has strengthened the function of its National Nuclear Contingency Office and enhanced its capability of meeting contingencies.

?In June 2003, the Chinese Government promulgated the Law on Prevention of Radioactive Pollution, which clearly stipulates the methods to prevent radioactive pollution possibly arising from activities in such aspects as operation of nuclear facilities, application of nuclear technologies, exploration of uranium mine, and management of radioactive waste.

?China supports the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources developed by the IAEA and has sent an official letter to the Director General of IAEA to the effect that according to the requirements and principles of the Code of Conduct. China is amending the Regulation on the Safety of Radioactive Isotopes and Radioactive Equipments and formulating Measures on the Security Management of Radioactive Sources and the Regulations on the Management of Radioactive Accident.

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