94/10/04 Remarks following the signing of Joint US-China Statement On Missile Proliferation and Joint US-China Statement On Stopping Production Of Fissile Materials For Nuclear Weapons  Return to: Index of 1994 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

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Office of the Spokesman

October 4, 1994

                           REMARKS BY




                 Following The Signing Of

     Joint US-China Statement On Missile Proliferation


      Joint US-China Statement On Stopping Production

          Of Fissile Materials For Nuclear Weapons

                   Department of State

                     Washington, D.C.

                      October 4, 1994

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Good afternoon.  Vice Premier and Foreign 

Minister Qian Qichen's trip is closing on a very positive note.  

I'm 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 U.N. Security 


First, on the question of missile nonproliferation, 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 of 1993, for the transfer of 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 the range of at least 300 kilometers and a 

payload of at least 500 kilograms.  This is a very important step 

forward and I urge you not to let the complexity of it blind you to 

the achievement that's resulted here today.

This agreement also resolves a previous difference of opinion 

between the United States and China on the interpretation of MTCR.  

Under the terms of this agreement, China has now accepted the MTCR 

definition of a missile's inherent capability.  That means that any 

missile that has the inherent capability to be adapted to meet the 

MTCR thresholds through modification is also within the control of 

the regime.  Both of our countries have reaffirmed our respective 

commitments to the MTCR guidelines and its parameters.  As a second 

step in this connection, the United States and China have also 

agreed to hold further in-depth discussions on MTCR, including 

discussions 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 our shared goal of stopping the 

production of nuclear weapons materials in states that are on the 

threshold of nuclear weapons development.  It also strengthens our 

larger shared commitment to halt the proliferation of nuclear 


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'm 

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've had on nonproliferation are a 

reflection of a good degree of progress in our relationship; and 

I'm grateful to you, Mr. Minister, for your important leadership 

role in these achievements.  Thank you very much.

VICE PREMIER & FOREIGN MINISTER QIAN:  (Through Interpreter)  Just 

now I signed with Secretary Christopher two important agreements:  

one on nonproliferation, the other on the cut-off of fissile 

material production.

On the first subject, that is nuclear nonproliferation, it is our 

consistent position that China does not engage in the proliferation 

of weapons of mass destruction, including the 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 have 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 between 

our two sides, our two sides have now resolved this issue.  We are 

very pleased about this.

On the second issue, that is the stopping of 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 the stopping of fissile materials 

among the nuclear 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 

will also play a positive role in promoting the global 

nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the stopping of 

the 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.  (Applause)

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, does this now mean that the United States 

will license the remaining satellites to be launched on Chinese 


SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  No, that's no part of the commitment here.  

The commitment is only to lift the Category II sanctions which were 

imposed in 1993 against China.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, can you tell us whether this agreement 

goes beyond the pledge that China made to Secretary of State Baker 

in November of 1991?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, it certainly goes beyond the MTCR 

requirements, which I believe was the emit of that pledge.  To 

simplify it as well as one can and, as I say, there are some 

complexities about this that are inherent.  But this is a global 

and verifiable ban on Chinese exports of all missiles within the 

parameters, that is within the 300 kilometer range, at least 300 

kilometers and a payload of at least 500 kilograms.

The fact that it's a global and verifiable ban, not simply a 

presumption, goes beyond MTCR and is a very important step forward.  

We have people here who are experts on the MTCR but MTCR, as you 

know, is basically a very strong presumption but it is not an 

automatic outlawing.  The agreement reached today is a global and 

verifiable ban, and that's a very important difference.

QUESTION:  The MTCR covers missile parts or components as well.  

Does this?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Yes, this does as well.  Both sides have 

reaffirmed their commitment to the MTCR guidelines and its 

parameters on equipment as well.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, when do think it will be the appropriate 

time for lifting all sanctions imposed on China?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  That's a completely different subject.  As 

the relationships mature, as we watch over time in various aspects 

of the development of our relationships, I think those issues will 

arise and be clarified.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, how is this agreement verifiable?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  We have the means to determine whether or 

not there will be sales of that character.  I have little question 

that that can be done.  I also think that the Chinese commitment in 

this regard is one that's not ambiguous.  Thank you very much.

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