Tracking Number:  362978

Title:  "Joint US-PRC Statement on Missile Proliferation." State Department fact sheet regarding a joint statement by the US and China to work together to prevent missile proliferation and promote a ban on the production of nuclear fuel for weapons. (941004)

Date:  19941004

JOINT U.S.-PRC STATEMENT ON MISSILE PROLIFERATION (Text: State Department fact sheet) (800) (The following fact sheet on the joint United States-People's Republic of China statements on missile proliferation and on stopping production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons was issued by the State Department on October 4.)

The United States and the People's Republic of China today agreed to work together to promote the nonproliferation of missiles, and to promote a ban on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

MISSILE NONPROLIFERATION On missile nonproliferation, the two countries agreed to work together to promote missile nonproliferation through a step-by-step approach to resolve differences over missile exports.

As the first step, the United States will take the measures necessary to lift the sanctions imposed in August 1993. Once the sanctions are waived, 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.

This Chinese commitment represents a global ban on exports, and goes beyond the requirements set forth in the MTCR, which calls for a "strong presumption of denial for such missile exports. China and the United States have also resolved another important issue by China's acceptance of the U.S. position on inherent capability. Under this concept, the missile would be included in the ban if it could generate sufficient energy to deliver a 500 kg payload at least 300 km, regardless of its demonstrated or advertized combination of range and payload. Both countries also reaffirmed their respective commitments to the guidelines and parameters of the MTCR, which seeks to curb the proliferation of missiles worldwide.

As the next step, the United States and China agreed to hold in-depth discussions on the MTCR. We intend to work toward a Chinese commitment to control missile-related exports according to the current MTCR guidelines, as well as to promote eventual Chinese membership in the MTCR.

In August 1993, the United States determined that certain Chinese and Pakistani entities had engaged in transfers of Category II MTCR Annex items related to the M-11 missile that required the imposition of sanctions under U.S. law.

When the U.S. government imposed Category II sanctions on Chinese entities for the transfer of M-11 related equipment to Pakistan, we told China that our sanctions law would enable us to waive these sanctions and avoid the possibility of future sanctions if the two sides reached a comprehensive agreement on missile nonproliferation. In particular, we encouraged China to undertake negotiations on a binding missile agreement whereby China would adhere to current MTCR guidelines and annex. Actual negotiation to resolve the issue did not begin until September 1994.

The step we took today is a first step toward resolving the missile issue, and involves only a waiver of the sanctions put into place in August 1993. Those sanctions were Category II sanctions, which require the denial for two years of new export licenses for MTCR Annex items, and the denial of U.S. government contracts relating to MTCR annex items, with the sanctioned entities.

Nothing in the agreement changes the U.S. position with respect to exports or actual missile exports. And, were a Chinese missile export of the type that would trigger U.S. sanctions law to occur in the future, U.S. law would require the imposition of sanctions against the entities involved in the transfer.

U.S. law calls for the imposition of sanctions on foreign persons (and, in the case of China, certain government activities) who are knowingly involved in trade in MTCR Annex items that contribute to MTCR Category I missiles, in a non-MTCR country. Category I missiles are those capable of carrying a payload of at least 500 kilograms a distance of at least 300 kilometers.

The statement signed today and the subsequent lifting of sanctions does not affect the sanctions imposed in August 1993 on Pakistan. Since the imposition of those sanctions, we also have offered to Pakistan the opportunity to work with us to achieve key nonproliferation goals which could lead to a waiver of the sanctions. We look forward to continuing those discussions with Pakistan.

FISSILE MATERIALS The two countries agreed to work together to promote the earliest possible achievement of a multilateral, non-discriminatory, internationally and effectively verifiable convention banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. This will be an important step in our shared commitment to preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and will provide a vehicle for working to halt the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in key threshold states.