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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 20, November 1997

US-China Summit

Summit between US President Bill Clinton and China's President Jiang Zemin, Washington, 29 October 1997

Joint Statement

'Joint US-China Statement,' White House text, 29 October


Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation

The United States and China agree that it is in their mutual interest to cooperate in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. To this end, they each have taken the steps necessary to implement the US-China Agreement on Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation concluded in 1985. In addition, China's State Planning Commission and the US Department of Energy have signed an Agreement of Intent to promote peaceful nuclear cooperation and research between the two countries.


The United States and China agree to work to bring the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty into force at the earliest possible date. They also agree to pursue at the UN Conference on Disarmament the early start of formal negotiations on the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Production of Fissile Materials Used in Nuclear Weapons and Other Nuclear Explosive Devices. The United States and China reiterate their commitment not to provide any assistance to unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and nuclear explosion programs. China has placed controls on exports of nuclear and dual-use materials and related technology and will take further measures to strengthen dual-use export controls by mid-1998. The United States will continue to enforce firm controls on the export of nuclear and dual-use materials and related technology. As original parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the United States and China agree to cooperate in implementing the Convention within a multilateral framework. Both countries agree on the importance of government oversight of chemical-related exports. The United States and China agree to build on the 1994 Joint Statement on Missile Nonproliferation. They reaffirm their respective commitments to the guidelines and parameters of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). ...

Military-to-Military Relations

The United States and China have reached agreement on the establishment of a consultation mechanism to strengthen military maritime safety, which will enable their maritime and air forces to avoid accidents, misunderstandings or miscalculations. They agree to share information and discuss issues related to their respective experiences in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief."

Department of Energy Press Release

'United States and China agree to broaden cooperation on nuclear energy and cooperation,' US Department of Energy Press Release, R-97-119, 29 October

Full text

"The United States and China today announced an initiative that will move the countries toward broader cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The agreement will further the Clinton administration's commitment to engaging China in activities that promote the safe, reliable, peaceful use of nuclear technology and reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation.

Secretary of Energy Federico Peña and Minister Zeng Peiyan, Vice Chairman of China's State Planning Commission, signed the Agreement of Intent Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technology during the US-China Summit between Presidents Bill Clinton and Jiang Zemin. The agreement is the first step toward joint initiatives in reactor technology and safety; advanced in-service inspection of nuclear power plant components; fuel handling and storage; the production of isotopes for medical, industrial and agricultural uses; and decontamination and decommissioning. Cooperation in these areas will benefit both countries as they seek to address energy needs for the next century. China's nuclear power sector is projected to grow faster than that of any other country.

The agreement also calls for cooperation in establishing systems for export control of nuclear materials, equipment and technologies; nuclear materials control and accounting; physical protection; and enhancement of international nuclear safeguards. Initiatives in these areas will build on the progress the United States and China have made already in nuclear nonproliferation, which now permits enhanced cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

'The progress we have made together in nuclear nonproliferation has permitted us to move forward with joint efforts to meet future energy goals with nuclear technology,' said Secretary Peña. 'As part of that broader relationship, we will continue to direct substantial efforts toward greater safeguards for nuclear materials and stronger unilateral, bilateral and multilateral nonproliferation efforts.'

The nuclear agreement became possible following President Clinton's decision to certify to the US Congress that China had met the necessary requirements to implement the 1985 Agreement for Cooperation between the United States and China Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. The Presidential certifications must be transmitted to Congress and remain there for 30 days before the 1985 Agreement can be implemented.

The Agreement of Intent between the United States and China paves the way for the negotiation of a broad 'umbrella' agreement that will govern future cooperative activities related to nuclear energy and nonproliferation."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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