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China's Non-Proliferation Policy and Related Export Control Mechanisms 2004/06/29

I. Basic Stand

China has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and resolutely opposed the proliferation of such weapons and their means of delivery. China does not support, encourage or assist any country to develop WMD and their means of delivery.

China resolutely supports international non-proliferation efforts, and stands for the attainment of the non-proliferation goal through peaceful means. To this end, on the one hand, the international non-proliferation mechanism should be continually improved and export controls of individual countries updated and strengthened; on the other hand, proliferation issues should be settled through dialogue and international cooperation.

China holds that the fundamental purpose of non-proliferation is to safeguard and promote

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

 

international and regional peace and security, and all measures to this end should be rendered conducive to attaining this goal. The proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery has its complicated causes and is closely related to the international and regional security environment.To promote the universal improvement and the democratization of international relations and the fair and rational settlement of the security issues of regions concerned will help international non-proliferation efforts to proceed in a smooth manner.

China maintains that universal participation of the international community is essential for the progress in non-proliferation and that a fair, rational and non-discriminatory nature of the non-proliferation regime must be ensured. Either the improvement of the existing regime or the establishment of a new one should be based on the universal participation of all countries and on their decisions made through a democratic process. Unilateralism and double standards should be abandoned, and great importance be attached and full play given to the role of the United Nations.

China believes that given the dual-use nature of various materials, equipment and technologies in the nuclear, biological, chemical and aerospace fields, it is important that all countries, in the course of implementing their non-proliferation policies, strike a proper balance between non-proliferation and international cooperation for peaceful use of the relevant high technologies. In this connection, China maintains that, on the one hand the rights of all countries, especially the developing countries, to utilize and share dual-use scientific and technological achievements and products for peaceful purposes should be guaranteed without prejudice to the non-proliferation goal; on the other hand, it is also necessary to prevent any country from engaging in proliferation under the pretext of peaceful utilization.

II. Actively Participating in International Non-Proliferation Efforts

Over the years, China has participated extensively in the construction of the multilateral non-proliferation regime and actively promoted its constant improvement and development. Up to date, China has signed all international treaties related to non-proliferation, and joined most of the relevant international organizations.

In the nuclear field, China joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1984, and voluntarily placed its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards. It acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1992, and was among the first countries to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996. China became a member of the Zangger Committee in 1997. China signed the Additional Protocol to the Agreement Between China and IAEA for the Application of Safeguards in China in 1998, and in early 2002 formally completed the domestic legal procedures necessary for the entry into force of the Additional Protocol, thus becoming the first nuclear-weapon state to complete the relevant procedures. China actively participated in the work of the IAEA, the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO and other related international organizations. It supported the IAEA's contribution to the prevention of potential nuclear terrorist activities, and took an active and constructive part in the revision of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials. China joined the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in May, 2004.

China has energetically supported relevant countries in their efforts to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones. It has signed and ratified the protocols to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco), the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Rarotonga), and the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba). China has expressly committed itself to signing the protocol to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Bangkok) and supported the initiative for the establishment of a Central Asian nuclear-weapon-free region.

In the biological field, China acceded to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BWC) in 1984, and has strictly observed its obligations under the Convention. As from 1988, it has, on an annual basis, submitted to the UN the declaration data of the confidence-building measures for the BWC in accordance with the decision of its Review Conference. China has enthusiastically contributed to enhancing the effectiveness of the BWC.

In the chemical field, China made positive contributions to the negotiation and conclusion of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC). It signed the Convention in 1993 and deposited its instrument of ratification in 1997. China has stood firmly by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in carrying out its work, earnestly fulfilled its obligations under the CWC,and has set up the National Authority for the fulfillment of its obligations under the CWC, submitting initial and annual declarations of all kinds on schedule and in their entirety. By April 2004, China had received 73 on-site verifications by the OPCW.

In the missile field, China supports the international community in its efforts to prevent the proliferation of missiles and related technologies and materials, and adopts a positive and open attitude toward all international proposals for strengthening the missile non-proliferation mechanism. China has constructively participated in the work of the UN Panel of Governmental Experts on Missiles in All Its Aspects, as well as the international discussions on the draft of the International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and the proposal of a Global Control System.

III. Non-Proliferation Export Control System

The Chinese Government has all along adopted rigorous measures both for the domestic control of sensitive items and technologies and for their export control, and has continually improved the controls in light of the changing situation.

The Chinese Government has promulgated and implemented "Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Control of Nuclear Export", "Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Export Control of Nuclear Dual-Use Items and Related Technologies", "Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Export Control of Dual-Use Biological Agents and Related Equipment and Technologies", "Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Administration of Controlled Chemicals, Measures on Export Control of Certain Chemicals and Related Equipment and Technologies", "Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Export Control of Missiles and Missile-related Items and Technologies", "Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Administration of Arms Export" and other regulations and related control lists, which form a complete system for the export control of nuclear, biological, chemical, missile and other sensitive items and technologies, as well as all military products. This system integrates the valuable experience of the multi-national export control mechanism and other countries with its own national conditions, widely adopts prevailing export control methods and principles such as export registration system, licensing system, end-user and end-use certification, list control method, "Catch-all" principle, principle of nonproliferation-oriented examination and approval, and stipulate severe penalty measures for any offenses. This provides a solid legal basis and strong guarantee for the better attainment of the government's non-proliferation goals.

In order to ensure the effective implementation of these laws and regulations, the Chinese Government spares no efforts in improving export control institutions, publicizing relevant policies and regulations, educating enterprises, and investigating and handling cases of violation. So far, a mechanism for clearer division of responsibility and coordination has been established among the government's functional departments. Immediately after the non-proliferation export control regulations were issued, the full text of the regulations and control lists were published in the professional publications and on the web sites of the government departments, foreign trade enterprises and research institutes concerned. Competent departments have also taken positive publicity and awareness raising steps to ensure implementation of the regulations by relevant enterprises and institutions, and established a system involving application, examination and approval, certificate issuance and Customs control, inspection and clearance that applies to all interested exporters. To ensure compliance by export enterprises at all stages of export, the Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs have formulated the Export Licensing Catalogue of Sensitive Items and Technologies (i.e. the commodities on the lists attached to relevant export control regulations bearing Customs HS codes). To obtain consulting assistance in the process of license approval, the Ministry of Commerce has also set up an expert supporting system that consists of experts from relevant fields. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the investigation and handling of cases of law violations relating to non-proliferation, and conduct serious investigations into suspected cases and imposes punishments on violators according to law.