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China and Multilateral Non-Proliferation Mechanisms 2004/06/29

Zangger Committee

The Zangger Committee was established in 1971, with an aim to stipulate, in accordance with article III, paragraph 2 of the NPT, conditions and procedures for controlling export of nuclear material, equipment and technology to non-nuclear-weapon states yet to accede to the NPT. The Committee formulates nuclear export control "Trigger List", which requires that items on the list shall be subject to the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Committee has 40 members now and holds biannual meetings in Vienna to discuss nuclear export control policy and amendments to the "Trigger List".

On 16 October 1997, China joined the Zangger Committee and has since then actively

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

participated in its activities.

Nuclear Suppliers Group

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was established in 1975 with an aim to ensure coordination between major nuclear suppliers and strengthen their nuclear export control, so as to prevent proliferation of sensitive items in the nuclear field. The Group exercises export control according to "Nuclear Transfer Guidelines" and "Nuclear Dual-use Material Trigger List". The Group requires importing states to accept the International Atomic Energy Agency's full-scope safeguards as the nuclear export condition, and strictly control the export of sensitive nuclear items and technology, such as reprocessing, uranium enrichment and heavy water production.

NSG has 44 members and holds plenary meeting every year to review the Guidelines and Trigger List. China joined NSG on 27 May 2004, and its membership took effect from 10 June 2004.

Australia Group

The Australia Group (hereinafter referred to as AG), established in 1985, is an informal export control arrangement that aims at preventing the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons. It has 34 members, including 33 countries and the European Commission. Australia is acting as its permanent chair. AG's common control lists include chemical weapons precursors, dual-use chemical manufacturing equipment and technologies, plant pathogens, animal pathogens, biological agents and dual-use biological equipment and technologies. The AG members meet annually in Paris to exchange information and intelligence on export control and discuss implementation and enforcement measures, including AG's common control lists.

China shares the non-proliferation goal with AG. As a State Party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and other multilateral non-proliferation treaties, China has always opposed the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical weapons, and their means of delivery. In recent years, China has promulgated a series of laws and regulations on export control of dual-use biological agents, certain chemicals and related equipment and technologies, adopted international standards and practice such as licensing system, end-user and end-use certification and "catch-all" principle. China's export control system has been transformed from an administrative management to a law-based control.

In recent years, AG has strengthened contacts and exchanges with China. From March 23rd to 24th, 2004, China and Australia held export control dialogue in Beijing, in which each side introduced its export control system. The Australia side, as permanent chair of AG, briefed the Chinese side on the background and recent activities of AG. Both sides expressed their willingness to keep contacts.

The Missile Technology Control Regime

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) was established in 1987. The purpose of MTCR is to prevent the proliferation of missiles capable of delivering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and its related technologies. The MTCR has 33 members by now.

As a multinational export control regime in the field of missiles, MTCR has played a positive role in slowing down the proliferation of missiles and missile-related technologies. The guidelines and parameters it established are to some extent scientific and could be used for reference. China has drawn upon the Guidelines and Technical Annex in formulating its missile export control regulations and control list, and the principles and scope of China's missile export control are basically in line with those of the MTCR.

In recent years, China has maintained close consultations and communications with the MTCR and the relationship between the two sides is improving. The MTCR participants have repeatedly expressed their welcome to China's participation in the MTCR in principle. In September 2003, Mr. Li Zhaoxing, Foreign Minister of China, expressed clearly in his letter to the then Chairman of the MTCR that China would favorably consider its participation in the MTCR. In February 2004, China and the MTCR held the first round of dialogue in Paris and exchanged views on the issue of export control and related technical issues. The second round of dialogue was held in Beijing from June 1 to June 4 2004.

China will continue enhancing the dialogue and exchange with the MTCR and promoting the further development of the relationship between the two sides.

Wassenaar Arrangement

In March 1994, the Coordinating Committee on Export Control (COCOM) ceased to exist. In July 1996, the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (Wassenaar Arrangement) was established in Vienna. The Wassenaar Arrangement is aimed at the promotion of transparency in the transfer of conventional arms and sensitive dual-use items and technologies through information exchanging mechanism. The Wassenaar Arrangement has 33 members by now.

The Wassenaar Arrangement is a multinational export control regime in the field of conventional arms and dual-use items export control. For years, the Arrangement has played some role in assisting its participating states in standardizing export control regulations and preventing the proliferation of relevant sensitive items and technologies. Some of the Arrangement's export control principles and practices are scientific to certain extent. China has taken reference to the Arrangement in the process of formulating its"Military Products Export Control List".

China attaches importance to the Arrangement's role and is open to dialogues and exchanges with the Arrangement and its participants. At the end of 2003, the Arrangement initiated contact with China and the two sides agreed to establish a mechanism for dialogues. The first dialogue was held in 29 to 30, April 2004. China hopes that through dialogues and exchanges, the two sides could further enhance mutual understanding, taking reference to good experiences and practices with each other, continuously improve their respective export control and promote the development of bilateral relations.