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Key Issues Missile Defense Issues Joint Statement by Russian and Chinese Presidents

Joint Statement by the Presidents of the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Anti-Missile Defense
July 18, 2000

The Presidents of the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation state as follows:

The development of [the] international situation has fully attested to the correctness of the

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assessments and conclusions China and Russia had arrived at on the missile defense issue in the joint statement entitled China-Russia Relations at the Turn of the Century (issued at their summit on 23 November 1998), the Sino-Russian Press Communique on the Consultations on the Question of the ABM Treaty (14 April 1999) and the Joint China-Russia Statement (issued at their summit on 10 December 1999).

The 1972 Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (hereinafter referred to as the ABM Treaty) remains the cornerstone of global strategic stability and international security, and constitutes the basis for a framework of the key international agreements designed to reduce and limit offensive strategic weapons and to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The maintenance of and strict compliance with the ABM Treaty is thus of paramount importance.

With the above view, the US programme to establish national missile defense, a system prohibited under the ABM Treaty, has aroused grave concern. China and Russia hold that this programme is, in essence, aimed at seeking unilateral military and security superiority. Such a programme, if implemented, will give rise to most serious negative consequences on the security of not only Russia, China and other countries, but the United States itself and global strategic stability as well. In this context, China and Russia have registered their unequivocal opposition to the above programme.

To undermine the ABM Treaty will trigger off another round of arms race and subsequently reverse the positive trend emerged in world politics after the end of the Cold War. This will undoubtedly not be in the fundamental interest of any country in the world. The country which press[es] for amending this fundamental treaty on the disarmament front will have to bear the full responsibility for undermining international stability and security, and for all the consequences that may arise therefrom.

The assessment of the current international reality has demonstrated that it is totally untenable to press for amending the ABM Treaty on the pretext of so-called missile threats from some countries. The so-called "amendment" proposal by the relevant country is, in effect, aimed at covering its attempt to violate the provisions of the ABM treaty. To amend the text of the ABM Treaty is tantamount to an act of undermining the ABM Treaty and will inevitably bring about a series of negative consequences. Under the current strategic situation, it is of great practical significance to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of the ABM Treaty.

In meeting the new challenges of international security, maintaining world peace and protecting the legitimate security interests of all countries, the correct approach is, instead of scrapping the ABM Treaty, to promote the establishment of a new, just and equitable international political order, do away with the practice of power politics and the abuse of force in international affairs and further strengthen regional and international security. In the meantime, it is essential that Russia and the United States continue and deepen their process of reducing offensive strategic weapons on the basis of strict compliance with the ABM Treaty, and engage other nuclear weapon states in such a process in due course in the future. It is imperative that international efforts be intensified to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles through political, legal and diplomatic means, to explore the possibility of gradually working out a global control system in prevention of the proliferation of missiles and related technologies, and to conduct extensive and non-discriminatory dialogue and cooperation in this field.

Non-strategic missile defense and international cooperation in this field, though not prohibited under the ABM Treaty, should nevertheless not prejudice the security interests of other countries, lead to the establishment or strengthening of exclusive military or political blocs, or undermine global or regional stability and security. Based on this position, China and Russia express their grave concern about and firm opposition to certain countries in their pursuit of the programme aimed at deploying such non-strategic missile defense systems in the Asia-Pacific region with the above mentioned negative impact. Any attempt to incorporate, in any way, Taiwan into a foreign missile defense system will be unacceptable, as it will seriously undermine the stability of the region.

The UN Resolution entitled the Preservation of and Compliance with the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems adopted by the 54th session of its General Assembly is of prime importance. China and Russia call upon the international community to continue to show its serious concern to the vigorous pursuit of the missile defense systems by certain countries that will upset the global strategic balance and stability, and to take necessary measures to prevent the development of this dangerous situation.

The cooperation between China and Russia in maintaining the global strategic balance and stability has been satisfactory. China and Russia will, building on their existing strategic coordination partnership of equality and trust, continue to coordinate closely with each other on the question of missile defense in strengthening their cooperation in other relevant areas within the framework of their respective international obligations so as to maintain the national, regional and global security.

President of the People's Republic of China
Jiang Zemin (signed)
President of the Russian Federation
Vladmir V. Putin (signed)
Done in Beijing on 18 July 2000