Tracking Number:  363042

Title:  "US, China Sign Agreement on Missile Exports." The US and China have signed an agreement that establishes a ban on Chinese export of all missile technology that falls within the parameters of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). (941004)

Date:  19941004

U.S., CHINA SIGN AGREEMENT ON MISSILE EXPORTS (U.S. to waive sanctions imposed in 1993) (600) By Edmund F. Scherr USIA Diplomatic Correspondent Washington -- The United States and China signed an agreement October 4 that Secretary of State Christopher says establishes a "global and verifiable" ban on Chinese export of all missiles and their components that fall within the parameters of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

Characterizing the Chinese commitment under it as "not ambiguous," Christopher said the agreement is "a very important step forward."

The ban covers ground-to-ground missiles "inherently capable" of reaching a range of at least 300 kilometers and with a payload of at least 500 kilograms.

Under the agreement, Christopher explained, China now accepts the MTCR definition of a missile's "inherent capability." That means that any missile that has the inherent capability to be adapted to meet the MTCR threshold through modification is "also within the control of the regime," he said.

China and the United States also agreed to work together to promote the earliest possible achievement of an international and effectively verifiable convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.

Christopher and Chinese Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen signed the agreement during a ceremony at the State Department.

The secretary said the agreement is another step in the direction of "stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction," which he called "a strategic priority for President Clinton's administration."

The United States and China "have reaffirmed our respective commitments to the MTCR guidelines and parameters," the secretary said, noting that the two countries have agreed to hold further talks on MTCR including discussions on China's "possible MTCR membership in the near future."

In his remarks after the signing, Christopher said the United States and China have agreed to a "step-by-step approach to resolve their differences on the export of missiles under the MTCR."

As a first step, the agreement said, the United States will take the measures necessary to lift U.S. sanctions against China imposed in August 1993. Those sanctions against entities in China and Pakistan were imposed for the export of MTCR annex items -- M-11 missile technology and components -- from China to Pakistan.

"Once the sanctions have been lifted, China has agreed not to export ground-to-ground missiles covered by the MTCR agreement," the secretary said.

U.S. officials explained that the U.S.-Chinese agreement does not lift the two-year sanctions against Pakistan imposed in 1993.

"Since the imposition of those sanctions, we also have offered to Pakistan the opportunity to work with us to achieve key non-proliferation goals which could lead to a waiver of the sanctions," the department said in a statement.

The U.S.-Chinese agreement on fissile material, the secretary said, "will enable us to advance our shared goal of stopping the production of nuclear weapons material in states that are on the threshold of nuclear weapons development.

"And it also strengthens our larger shared commitment to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons."

The Chinese foreign minister said the agreement on missiles and fissile material "will contribute to the development of Sino-American relations. It will also play a positive role in promoting the global non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and...stopping...the development of fissile material."

Therefore the agreement "contributes to world peace and stability," Qian emphasized.

The Washington talks with China this week on non-proliferation and human rights are a "reflection of a good degree of progress in our relationship," Christopher said.