Tracking Number:  221005

Title:  "US Lifts Missile Sanctions on China." The Bush administration has lifted sanctions imposed on China because of transactions made by two Chinese companies involving missile technology covered by the Missile Technology Control Regime due to Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen's formal letter confirming China's commitment to abide by MTCR guidelines and parameters. Replaces EP-307. (920326)

Date:  19920326


03/26/92 *

(NOTE TO PAOS/IOS: THE FOLLOWING STORY SHOULD BE SUBSTITUTED FOR EPF307, WHICH RAN YESTERDAY, MARCH 25.) U.S. LIFTS MISSILE SANCTIONS ON CHINA (Article on MTCR, lifting of sanctions) (520) By Jane A. Morse USIA Staff Writer Washington -- The Bush administration has lifted sanctions imposed on China last June because of transactions by two Chinese companies involving missile technology covered by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Guidelines.

The sanctions were lifted March 23 in return for China's commitment to abide by the MTCR Guidelines and parameters. China indicated its agreement on the Guidelines last November during the visit of Secretary of State James Baker to Beijing. On February 1, U.S. officials received a letter from China's Foreign Minister Quan Qichen confirming China's written commitment.

China's acceptance of the MTCR Guidelines has been welcomed by State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler as "an important step forward in securing Chinese support for ballistic missile nonproliferation." The MTCR Guidelines are "the key multinational effort to limit ballistic missile proliferation," she said.

Secretary Baker said that China's written assurances on this matter are "real progress -- but progress we must monitor very closely in the months and years ahead."

The State Department emphasized that it will not slacken its efforts to monitor either missile transfers worldwide or Chinese missile and missile technology export practices. U.S. law continues to require sanctions for transfers of technology that contribute to MTCR-class missiles.

With the lifting of the June 1991 sanctions against China, U.S. firms can again apply for licenses to export to China high performance computers, satellites and space-related technology denied under the sanctions. However, export of satellites and items for military use must still obtain a special interest waiver of other legal restrictions from the U.S. government.

In discussing the matter before the House Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee in February, Baker noted that the Chinese, in agreeing to follow MTCR Guidelines, specifically agreed to apply the Guidelines to transfers of the M-9 and M-11 missiles. Countries such as Pakistan, Syria and Iraq have expressed interest in obtaining these systems.

The United States carefully controls transfers of technology that could contribute to proliferation of missiles and weapons of mass destruction. The United States is not at this time selling weapons to China.

The purpose of the MTCR Guidelines is to limit the risks of nuclear proliferation by controlling transfers that could contribute to unmanned nuclear weapons delivery systems. Neither an international agreement nor a treaty, the MTCR is a voluntary arrangement among 18 countries which share a common interest in arresting missile proliferation. Adherence to the Guidelines is an important contribution to international peace and security. The United States agreed to act in accordance with the Guidelines in 1987.

The Guidelines govern the transfer of equipment and technology related to missile systems capable of delivering at least a 500-kilogram payload to a range of at least 300 kilometers. The Guidelines also apply to the equipment and technology required for specifically designed facilities needed to produce these systems.