Title: "The US and China: Curbing Missile and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation." Remarks by Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen following
the signing of joint statements on missile proliferation and nuclear materials production. (941017)
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE DISPATCH PUBLISHED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS VOLUME 5, NUMBER 42, OCTOBER 17, 1994 The U.S. and China: Curbing Missile And Nuclear Weapons Proliferation Secretary Christopher, Chinese Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian, Joint Statements
Remarks following the signing of joint statements on missile proliferation and fissile materials production, Washington, DC, October 4, 1994
Good afternoon. Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen's trip is closing on a very positive note--I am pleased to announce today that the United States and China have reached important agreements to help curb the proliferation of missiles and the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. Stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction is a strategic priority for President Clinton's Administration. Today's agreements are another advance toward achieving that objective. They also represent a vital element of our relationship with China, a nuclear power and a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
First, on the question of missile non-proliferation, the United States and China have agreed to a
step-by-step approach to resolve their differences on the export of missiles under the Missile Technology Control Regime--MTCR. As a first step, the United States will move to lift the sanctions it imposed against China in August 1993 for transferring missile parts to Pakistan. Once the sanctions are lifted, China has agreed not to export ground-to-ground missiles covered by the MTCR agreement.
In effect, this communique today goes beyond the MTCR requirements. It represents a global and verifiable ban on Chinese exports of missiles capable of a range of at least 300 kilometers and a payload of at least 500Škilograms. This is a very important step forward, and I urge you not to let the complexity of it blind you to the achievement that resulted here today.
This agreement also resolves a previous difference of opinion between the United States and China on the interpretation of the MTCR. Under the terms of this agreement, China accepts the MTCR definition of a missile's inherent capability. That means that any missile that has the inherent capability to be modified to meet the MTCR thresholds is also under the control ofŠthe regime. Both of our countries have reaffirmed our respective commitments to the MTCR guidelines and its parameters. As a second step in this regard, the United States and China also have agreed to hold further in-depth discussions on the MTCR, including discussion of China's possible MTCR membership in the near future.
Now, on a second subject--that is, fissile material production--the United States and China have agreed to work together to promote a global and verifiable ban on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. This agreement will enable us to advance the shared goal of stopping the production of nuclear weapon materials in states that are on the threshold of developing nuclear weapons. It also strengthens our broader, shared commitment to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
As influential members of the international community, the United States and China have a special obligation to cooperate in promoting peace and security. These two agreements are good examples of the benefits that cooperation can bring, and I am gratified that we were able to reach them. I also want to thank the Vice Premier and Foreign Minister for his visit here today. I think the talks that have taken place in connection with human rights, as well as the talks we have had on non-proliferation, are a reflection of a good degree of progress in our relationship; I am grateful to you, Mr. Minister, for your important leadership role in these achievements. Thank you very much.
Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian (through interpreter). Just now, I signed with Secretary Christopher two important agreements: one on non-proliferation, the other on ending fissile material production.
On the first subject--that is nuclear non-proliferation--it is our consistent position that China does not engage in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including missiles outside the MTCR. In 1991, China and the United States had discussions on this issue. However, due to the sanctions applied against China by the United States, this issue was not resolved at that time. In March 1992, after the United States lifted its sanctions against China, China made that commitment. Now we are reaffirming our commitment made in March 1992.
Later, in August 1993, the United States reimposed sanctions against China, and our two countries had a long discussion on this issue. Today, we reached agreement on this issue--that is, after the lifting of the sanctions imposed on China by the United States in August 1993, China reaffirms its commitment to MTCR guidelines and parameters. So, after long-term discussions, our two sides have now resolved this issue. We are very pleased about this.
On the second issue--that is, stopping the production of fissile materials--both China and the United States are nuclear countries, even though the nuclear arsenal of the United States is much bigger than that of China. Still, China is ready to work with the rest of the international community to promote the earliest achievement of a convention on stopping the production of fissile materials among the nuclear-capable countries. We hope to see an early and smooth completion of this process.
The conclusion of these two agreements between our two countries will contribute to the development of Sino-American relations. It also will play aŠpositive role in promoting global non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and stopping production of fissile materials. Therefore, it will also contribute to world peace and stability.
I wish to thank Secretary Christopher for the good arrangements for my visit. We have had useful discussions, and I wish to express our thanks for the warm reception accorded to us by our host. Thank you.
Joint Statement of the United States of America and The People's Republic of China On Missile Proliferation
The United States of America and the People's Republic of China, in furtherance of their shared nonproliferation interests, have agreed to take the following steps as of today's date: (1) the United States will take the measures necessary to lift the sanctions imposed in August 1993, and (2) once the United States lifts the sanctions, China will not export ground-to-ground missiles featuring the primary parameters of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)--that is, inherently capable of reaching a range of at least 300 km with a payload of at least 500 kg.
Both sides also reaffirm their respective commitments to the Guidelines and parameters of the MTCR, and have agreed to hold in-depth discussions on the MTCR.
Joint Statement of the United States of America And the People's Republic Of China on Stopping the Production of Fissile Materials For Nuclear Weapons
The United States of America and the People's Republic of China, in support of their shared interest in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, have agreed to work together to promote the earliest possible achievement of a multilateral, non-discriminatory, and effectively verifiable convention banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.