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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 27, June 1998

China-US Summit

Summit Meeting between Presidents Bill Clinton and Jiang Zemin, China, 25 June-3 July 1998

Joint Statement on South Asia

'Joint Statement on South Asia, 27 June 1998'; official White House text.

Full text


Recent nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, and the resulting increase in tension between them, are a source of deep and lasting concern to both of us. Our shared interests in a peaceful and stable South Asia and in a strong global non-proliferation regime have been put at risk by these tests, which we have joined in condemning. We have agreed to continue to work closely together, within the P-5, the Security Council and with others, to prevent an accelerating nuclear and missile arms race in South Asia, strengthen international non-proliferation efforts, and promote reconciliation and the peaceful resolution of differences between India and Pakistan.

Preventing a Nuclear and Missile Race in South Asia

The P-5 Joint Communiqué of 4 June, which was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 1172, sets out clear and comprehensive objectives and a plan for action to address the threat of South Asian nuclear and missile arms race. We pledge our full support for the steps outlined in the Joint Communiqué, and again call on India and Pakistan to stop all further nuclear tests and adhere immediately and unconditionally to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), to refrain from weaponization or deployment of nuclear weapons and from the testing or deployment of missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, and to enter into firm commitments not to weaponize or deploy nuclear weapons or missiles capable of delivering them.

Strengthening Global Non-Proliferation Cooperation

The United States and China remain firmly committed to strong and effective international cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation, with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as its cornerstone. We will continue to bolster global nuclear non-proliferation efforts, and reiterate that our goal is adherence of all countries, including India and Pakistan, to the NPT as it stands, without any modification. States that do not adhere to the Treaty cannot expect to be accorded the same benefits and international standing as are accorded to NPT parties. Notwithstanding their recent nuclear tests, India and Pakistan do not have the status of nuclear-weapons States in accordance with the NPT.

We reaffirm our determination to fulfill our commitments relating to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT. To this end, both countries have signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and do not intend to resume nuclear testing.

We call for the prompt initiation and conclusion of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament, on the basis of the 1995 agreed mandate, for a multilateral treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. We urge India and Pakistan to participate, in a positive spirit, in such negotiations with other States in the Conference on Disarmament with a view to reaching early agreement. We both actively support the Strengthened Safeguards System now being implemented by the IAEA, and will promptly take steps to implement it in our countries.

Reducing Tensions and Encouraging the Peaceful Resolution of Differences between India and Pakistan

We are committed to assist where possible India and Pakistan to resolve peacefully the difficult and long-standing differences between them, including the issue of Kashmir. We welcome the resumption of dialogue between the two countries and encourage them to continue such dialogue, and we stand ready to assist in the implementation of confidence-building measures between them, and encourage the consideration of additional measures of this type.

Responsibilities of the United States and China

The United States and China have long sought friendly relations with both India and Pakistan. We reaffirm this goal and our hope that we can jointly and individually contribute to the achievement of a peaceful, prosperous, and secure South Asia. As P-5 members, and as States with important relationships with the countries of the region, we recognize our responsibility to contribute actively to the maintenance of peace, stability and security in the region, and to do all we can to address the root causes of tension.

We reaffirm that our respective policies are to prevent the export of equipment, materials or technology that could in any way assist programs in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of delivering such weapons, and that to this end, we will strengthen our national export control systems.

Next Steps

Close coordination between the United States and China is essential to building strong international support behind the goals to which we are committed in response to nuclear testing by India and Pakistan. We will stay closely in touch on this issue, and will work with other members of the P-5 and the Security Council, with other Asian and Pacific countries, and with the broader international community to forestall further instability in South Asia, achieve a peaceful and mutually acceptable resolution of differences between India and Pakistan, and strengthen the global non-proliferation regime."

Joint Statement on Biological Weapons Convention

'Joint Statement on Biological Weapons Convention, 27 June 1998'; official White House text.

Full text

"Recognizing the threat posed by biological and toxin weapons, the United States and China reaffirm their strong support for the complete global elimination of biological weapons. As States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention, the two sides stress the importance of the Convention to international peace and security, fully support the purposes and objectives of the Convention, and favor comprehensively strengthening the effectiveness and universality of the Convention.

The United States and China each reaffirm that they are determined to strictly abide by the provisions of the Convention, to earnestly and comprehensively fulfill the obligations each has undertaken, shall not develop, produce or stockpile biological weapons under any circumstances and shall oppose the proliferation of biological weapons and their technology and equipment.

Both the United States and China support efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of the Convention, including the establishment of a practical and effective compliance mechanism. In this connection, the two sides positively appraise the work of the Ad Hoc Group set up for this purpose in negotiating a protocol to the Convention. The two sides believe the protocol must include efficient, practical and cost effective measures to deter proliferation or violation of the Convention and improve transparency. Appropriate measures should be formulated and implemented in a manner that takes into account protection of sensitive commercial information and legitimate security needs, and in light of relevant national laws and regulations. The two sides express their desire to cooperate in the negotiations and work together to further accelerate an early conclusion of the negotiations on the protocol.

The United States and China agree that they shall strive to enhance bilateral cooperation and exchanges in the field of bio-technology and vigorously engage in and promote the peaceful use of biological technology."

Joint Statement on Landmines

'Joint Statement on Anti-Personnel Landmines, 27 June 1998'; official White House text.

Full text

"The United States and China reaffirm their commitment to ending the humanitarian crisis caused by the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel landmines (APL). They both maintain that efforts to eliminate the APL threat to civilians should be pursued consistent with national security requirements.

The United States and China recognize the importance of the Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Conventional Weapons in addressing humanitarian concerns resulting from the indiscriminate use of landmines. They agree to work toward the early ratification of the Amended Protocol and urge others to ratify it as well.

The United States and China agree to actively pursue at the Conference on Disarmament the commencement of negotiations on an anti-personnel landmines transfer/export ban by supporting the prompt establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee.

The United States and China commit to accelerate global humanitarian demining operations with the objective of eliminating the threat of anti-personnel landmines to civilians as soon as possible. The United States and China reaffirm their commitments to furnish demining assistance, which could include mine awareness, training in mine clearance, and technology for detection and clearance, through appropriate channels to affected countries with the objective of promoting their indigenous capacity for humanitarian demining."

Summary of Agreements

'Fact Sheet: Achievements of US-China Summit,' White House Office of the Press Secretary, Beijing, 27 June 1998

"The agreements reached between the United States and China as part of President Clinton's visit build on the achievements of the October 1997 summit between Presidents Clinton and Jiang Zemin, deepen cooperation between the two countries on a broad range of issues and contribute toward a more stable, secure, open and prosperous world.

Non-Proliferation and Security

The United States and China confirm their common goal to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Enhancing Controls

Non-targeting. Presidents Clinton and Jiang announced that the United States and China will not target strategic nuclear weapons under their respective control at each other.

Missiles. The United States welcomed China's statement that it attaches importance to issues related to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and missile non-proliferation and that it has begun to actively study joining the MTCR. The United States and China will continue consultations on MTCR issues later in this year.

Chemical Weapons. China and the United States will further strengthen their controls on the export of dual-use chemicals and related production equipment and technology to assure they are not used for production of chemical weapons. China has announced that it has expanded the list of chemical precursors which it controls.

Biological Weapons. Presidents Clinton and Jiang issued a joint statement calling for strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention and early conclusion of a protocol establishing a practical and effective compliance mechanism and improving transparency.

Anti-Personnel Landmines. Presidents Clinton and Jiang issued a joint statement affirming their commitment to ending the export and indiscriminate use of anti-personnel landmines and to accelerating global humanitarian demining.

End-Use Visits. The United States and China agreed on practices for end-use visits on US high technology exports to China; this agreement will establish a framework for such exports to China.

Political and Security Dialogues

Communications. Presidents Clinton and Jiang inaugurated the direct Presidential link in May and affirmed its utility for consultation on important global, regional and bilateral political, security and economic issues. They also agreed to continue regular summit meetings.

Regional Stability. Presidents Clinton and Jiang issued a joint statement on their shared interest in a peaceful and stable South Asia and a strong global non-proliferation regime. The United States and China agreed to intensify dialogue on security issues and coordinate efforts to strengthen peace and stability in that region, as well as the Korean peninsula and the Middle East.

Military-to-Military Relations

Military Maritime Consultative Agreement. The United States and China will hold in July the first annual meeting under the auspices of the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement, whose goal will be to promote safety in naval and air operations, and to avoid incidents at sea.

Exchange of Observers. The United States and Chinese militaries agreed to send personnel in the near future to observe a joint training exercise of the other side on the basis of reciprocity. The size, location and timing of the exercise will be discussed and decided by the two sides. Disaster Response. The United States and Chinese militaries expressed satisfaction with the exchanges recently conducted in the area of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and intend to continue cooperation in this area. ...

Environmental Security. The United States and Chinese militaries reached an agreement to conduct cooperation and exchange in the area of military environmental protection and security. ...


... Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. The United States and China concluded an agreement on cooperation concerning peaceful uses of nuclear technologies. ..."

Remarks by National Security Advisor

'Press Briefing by Mike McCurry, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, National Economic Advisor Gene Sperling,' White House Office of the Press Secretary, Beijing, 27 June 1998

"[T]his was a summit that produced substantial concrete results, and we're very pleased with those results. Let me just go through them... I think perhaps the most important developments in this summit came, as they have generally in the last few meetings, in the area of non-proliferation, as China increasingly becomes part of the global non-proliferation regime. We have an agreement with the Chinese not to target our strategic nuclear weapons under their respective control at each other. I think this is an important step...

In the missile area, there are several pieces here. I think the most important piece, one that I am particularly pleased about, is that the Chinese have agreed now to actively study joining the MTCR. Now, what does that mean? The Chinese in the past have said unilaterally that they would adhere to the MTCR guidelines. That is a kind of a general commitment and it doesn't necessarily include all of the technology and components that are part of the annex of the MTCR, and it's not binding in any kind of international way.

This is an important step towards joining the MTCR, and we have seen in the past - whether it's been the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or various other measures - the Chinese often…jump across the river in two or three steps. And here they have said basically that they are moving towards considering joining the MTCR. That would be a very significant development in terms of the sale of missile technology worldwide.

On chemical weapons, we agreed that we would strengthen our controls even further of the export of dual-use chemicals, that is those that can be used in perfectly legitimate commercial uses and those that can be used in weapons. China has just announced that it will expand its list of chemical precursors that will be under those controls.

In the area of biological weapons, I think you've heard me and the President…talk about our desire, perhaps this year, but as soon as possible, to negotiate an enforcement protocol for the Biological Weapons Convention, which does not have enforcement machinery. And the Chinese have agreed to work with us towards that objective.

And finally in this area, the Chinese have agreed with us on practices for end-use visits on US high-technology exports to China. This has been an important issue back in Washington. We will now have a procedure for verifying that exports that are going to a location are at that location through a process of visits and inspection.

In the area of the security dialogue, the two Presidents talked considerably about South Asia, and both committed to place heavy priority over the next months to trying to de-escalate the tensions in the region. China has a unique historical relationship both with Pakistan and with India...and obviously can be a very important part of this process. ..."

Reaction by India

'Statement of Official Spokesman,' Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New Delhi, 27 June 1998

"We have seen the US-China 'Joint Statement on South Asia'. India categorically rejects the notion of these two countries arrogating to themselves joint or individual responsibility for 'the maintenance of peace, stability and security in the region'. This approach reflects the hegemonistic mentality of a bygone era in international relations and is completely unacceptable and out of place in the present day world.

The statement contains a number of references to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. It is most ironical that two countries that have directly and indirectly contributed to the unabated proliferation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems in our neighbourhood, are now presuming to prescribe norms for non-proliferation. India's own consistent commitment to nuclear disarmament has been made amply clear in the constructive ideas that we have put forward over the years in international fora. In particular, the proposals we have made in recent weeks provide a meaningful framework for discussions which will enable forward movement towards a comprehensive, universal and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament regime. We would also like to make it clear that India cannot consider the suggestions contained in the statement for curtailing our nuclear weapon or missile development programmes. India will continue to take decisions in this regard on the basis of its own national security requirements.

India's desire to develop friendly and peaceful relations and a stable structure of cooperation with Pakistan does not require reiteration. The way of achieving these objectives is through direct bilateral dialogue. We look forward to the resumption of this process in which there is no place for any kind of third-party involvement whatsoever. ..."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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