Adapted from a statement by Congressman Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) on November 5, 1997, during the House floor debate on China sanctions legislation.
“The question of assurance does not exist. China and Iran currently do not have any nuclear cooperation . . . We do not sell nuclear weapons to any country or transfer related technology. This is our long-standing position, this policy is targeted at all countries.”
— Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang, Los Angeles, 11/2/97, Reuters, 11/3/97.
“We don”t have to take it on faith . . . We received clear-cut, specific assurances.”
— Senior US official, AFP, 10/31/97 (referring to China”s vow not to commence new nuclear cooperation with Iran.)
China will . . . not help other countries develop nuclear weapons. At the same time, China also holds that prevention of nuclear proliferation should not affect international cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The U.S. administration is clear on this point and so is the international community.”
— Foreign Ministry spokesman Tang Guoqiang, Beijing, 10/30/97, Ta Kung Pao, 10/31/97 (emphasis added).
“President Jiang and I agreed that the United States and China share a strong interest in stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction and other sophisticated weaponry in unstable regions and rogue states; notably, Iran. I welcome the steps China has taken and the clear assurances it has given today to help prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and related technology.”
— President Bill Clinton, press conference, Washington, D.C., 10/29/97.
“In May 1996, China committed not to provide [unsafeguarded nuclear] assistance to . . . Pakistan or anywhere else. We have monitored this pledge very carefully over the course of the last 16, 18 months, and the Chinese appear to be taking their pledge very seriously. We have no basis to conclude that they have acted inconsistently with this May 1996 commitment. Also, the Chinese have provided assurances with respect to nuclear cooperation with Iran. What they have
assured us is that they . . . are not going to engage in new nuclear cooperation with Iran, and that they will complete a few existing projects, and these are projects which are not of proliferation concern. They [will] complete them within a relatively short period of time . . . the assurances we received are . . . sufficiently specific and clear to meet the requirements of our law and to advance our national security interests, and they are in the form of writing. They’re written, confidential communications . . . I would call them authoritative, written communications . . . Today was when the final exchange took place . . . We will make [them] available to members of Congress in confidence, because these are confidential diplomatic communications, an opportunity to read and judge for themselves these written assurances that we’ve been given . . . [Q] assurances specifically–different countries, specifically, say, Iran, Pakistan? . . . [A] Yes, just Iran . . . they have safeguarded peaceful nuclear cooperation with both Pakistan and India, and they told that at this particular point, they”re not prepared to suspend those projects . . . The President made very clear to him that this was an essential requirement; we needed to have this assurance on Iran, or there could be no certification . . . [Q] Who is the assurance addressed to? [A] We’re not going to discuss the . . . specifics of the issue. [Q] Is it in a letter, though, that’s addressed to someone in particular in the U.S. government? [A] It”s an authoritative, written communication.”
— Senior Administration Official, press briefing, The White House, 10/29/97, emphasis added.
“We have received assurances from the Chinese that they will not engage in any new nuclear cooperation with Iran, and that the existing cooperation–there are two projects in particular–will end. That is the assurance we have received. As to the form of that assurance, we will be discussing that with Congress . . .”
— Sandy Berger, National Security Advisory, press conference, 10/29/97
“The United States and China reiterate their commitment not to provide any assistance unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and nuclear explosion programs.”
— Joint U.S.-China Statement, The White House, 10/29/97.
“China has taken new, concrete steps to prevent nuclear proliferation that threaten the interests of both countries. China has . . . Provided assurances addressing U.S. concerns about nuclear cooperation with Iran . . .”
— White House Fact Sheet, “Accomplishments of US/China Summit. 10/29/97.
“. . . I think we have reached a point where we’re satisfied that we have the assurances that we need to have that China is not engaging, will not engage in assistance to states developing nuclear weapons, which would enable the President to go forward with the Peaceful Nuclear Energy Agreement of 1985.”
— Senior White House official, press conference, Washington, D.C., 10/29/97.
“China adopts a cautious and responsible attitude toward nuclear exports. It has never transferred nuclear weapons or relevant technology to any other country. China”s stand against nuclear weapons proliferation is consistent with clear-cut; that is, China has consistently opposed nuclear weapons proliferation. It does not advocate, encourage, or engage in nuclear weapons proliferation, nor has it helped other countries develop nuclear weapons. In the meantime, China takes the view that the fight against nuclear weapons proliferation should not affect international cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The American side is well aware of the Chinese position on that.”
— Foreign Ministry spokesman Tang Guoqiang, Beijing Central Peoples Radio, 10/28/97
“I wish to emphasize once again China has never transferred nuclear weapons or relevant technology to other countries, including Iran . . . China has never done it in the past, we do not do it now, nor will be do it in the future.”
— Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang, Kyodo, 10/21/97.
“. . . China adheres to the policy that it does not advocate, encourage or engage in proliferation of nuclear weapons nor assist other countries in developing nuclear weapons. For many years the Chinese Government has exercised strict and effective control over nuclear and nuclear-related export, including exchanges of personnel and information, and has abided by the following three principles: (1) serving peaceful purposes only; (2) accepting IAEA safeguards; (3) forbidding transfer to any third country without China’s consent. With regard to any nuclear export, the recipient government is always requested to provide to the Chinese side an assurance in writing to acknowledge the above three principles and the export can proceed only after approval by relevant Chinese authorities . . . [regulations] strictly prohibit any exchange of nuclear weapons related technology and information with other countries . . . No [Chinese] agency or company is allowed to conduct cooperation or exchange of personnel and technological data with nuclear facilities not under IAEA safeguards . . . [these] regulations are applicable . . . also to all activities related to nuclear explosive devices . . . the Chinese side wishes to emphasize that the prevention of nuclear proliferation should in no way affect or hinder the normal nuclear cooperation for peaceful uses among countries, let along be used as an excuse for discrimination and even application of willful sanctions against developing countries. The prevention of nuclear proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy constitute the two sides of one coin . . . this is the consistent policy of China.”
— Ambassador Li Changhe, Statement at Meeting of Zangger Committee, Vienna, 10/16/97.
“China”s position on nuclear proliferation is very clear . . . It does not advocate, encourage, or engage in nuclear proliferation, nor does it assist other countries in developing nuclear weapons. It always undertakes its international legal obligations of preventing nuclear proliferation . . . China has always been cautious and responsible in handling its nuclear exports and exports of materials and facilities that might lead to nuclear proliferation.
— Statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman Cui Tiankai, Beijing, Xinhua, 9/15/97.
“The state highly controls nuclear exports and strictly performs the international obligation on nonproliferation of nuclear weapons it has undertaken. The state does not advocate, encourage and engage in proliferation of nuclear weapons, and does not help other countries develop nuclear weapons. Nuclear exports are used only for peaceful purposes and are subjected to International Atomic Energy Agency”s guarantee and supervision . . . The state prohibits assistance to nuclear facilities not subject to International Atomic Energy Agency”s guarantee and supervision, and does not engage in nuclear exports or personnel and technological exchanges and cooperation with them.
— Regulations of the PRC on Control of Nuclear Exports, Xinhua, 9/11/97.
Our country . . . has followed the policy of not advocating, not encouraging, and not engaging in the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and not helping other countries to develop nuclear weapons . . . all relevant agencies and units engaged in the activities of foreign economic trade must thoroughly implement our country’s policy on nuclear exports; that is, not advocating, encouraging, or engaging in the proliferation of nuclear weapons and not helping other countries develop nuclear weapons; only using nuclear export items for peaceful purposes, accepting the International Atomic Energy Agency”s safeguards and supervision, and not allowing the transfer of such items to third countries without our country”s permission; and not giving assistance to the nuclear facilities of those countries that have not accepted the safeguards and supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency . . . Nuclear material, nuclear installations and related technology, non-nuclear material used for reactors, and nuclear-related dual-use installations, material, and related technology . . . may not be supplied to or used by nuclear facilities that have not accepted the International Atomic Energy Agency”s safeguards and supervision. No unit or corporation is allowed to cooperate with nuclear installations that have not accepted the system of safeguards and supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, nor are they allowed to engage in exchanges of professional scientific and technical personnel and technological information . . .”
— Chinese State Council Circular No. 17, Beijing, 5/27/97.
“. . . we have absolutely binding assurances from the Chinese, which we consider a commitment on their part not to export ring magnets or any other technologies to unsafeguarded facilities . . . The negotiating record is made up primarily of conversations, which were detailed and recorded, between US and Chinese officials.”
Under Secretary of State Peter Tarnoff, congressional testimony, 5/16/96.
“Last week, we reached an understanding with China that it will no longer provide assistance to unsafeguarded programs . . . senior Chinese officials have explicitly confirmed our understanding the Chinese policy of not assisting unsafeguarded nuclear facilities would prevent future sales, future transfers of ring magnets.”
Secretary of State Warren Christopher, congressional testimony, 5/15/96.
“Being a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, China strictly abides by its treaty commitments and has never engaged in any activities in violation of its commitments. China”s position of opposing nuclear weapons proliferation is constant and unambiguous. China will, as usual, continue to honor its international commitments and play a positive role in maintaining regional and world peace and stability.
— Foreign Ministry spokesman Cui Tiankai, Zhonggwo Ximven She, 5/15/96.
“China strictly observes its obligations under the treaty and is against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. China pursues the policy of not endorsing, encouraging or engaging in the proliferation of nuclear weapons, or assisting other countries in developing such weapons. The nuclear cooperation between China and the countries concerned is exclusively for peaceful purposes. China will not provide assistance to unsafeguarded and unsupervised Chinese nuclear facilities.
— Foreign Ministry spokesman, Xinhua, 5/11/96.
“Shen Guofang is an official press officer of the Chinese government and he has said several times that China is not exporting nuclear arms material nor spreading nuclear arms. The Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, the CIA, has accorded to Shen made several mistakes. The claim that China is exporting so-called ring magnets to Pakistan is one of the CIA”s mistakes, according to Shen.
— Interview with Chinese Shen Guofang, YLE Radio, Helsinki, 4/5/96.
“China has never transferred or sold any nuclear technology or equipment to Pakistan . . . We therefore hope the U.S. Government will not base its policy-making on hearsay.
— Foreign Ministry Deputy Secretary Shen Guofang, Hong Kong AFP, 3/26/96.
“China, a responsible state, has never transferred equipment or technology for producing nuclear weapons to any other country. Nor, as a responsible state, will China do so in the future.
— Foreign Ministry spokesman, Xinhua, 2/15/96.
“China is a responsible country. We have not transferred, nor will we transfer to any country, equipment or technologies used in manufacturing nuclear weapons. As a signatory to the nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty, China scrupulously abides by the treaty concerning international legal obligations toward the prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation, and it does not advocate, encourage or engage in nuclear proliferation. While engaging in cooperation with other countries for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, China strictly abides by China”s three principles on nuclear exports and accepts the safeguards and supervision of the International
Atomic Energy Agency.
— Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofung, Xinhua, 2/15/96.
“Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang today denied reports that China has transferred nuclear technology to Pakistan. He said that China carries out normal international cooperation with Pakistan and some other countries on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The legitimate rights and interests of all countries in the peaceful use of nuclear energy should also be respected. China has constantly adopted a prudent and responsible toward the export of nuclear energy. It is totally groundless to say that China has transferred nuclear technology to Pakistan.
— Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang, as reported in Ta Kung Pao, 2/9/96
(follows 2/8/96 Washington Times story about China”s transfer of ring magnets to Pakistan”s unsafeguarded uranium enrichment plant).
“China has constantly stood for . . . pursuing a policy of not supporting, encouraging or engaging in the proliferation of nuclear weapons and assisting any other country in the development of such weapons . . . Since 1992 when [China] became a party to the [nuclear Non-Proliferation] treaty, it has strictly fulfilled its obligations under the Treaty, including the obligation to cooperate fully with the IAEA in safeguard application. China follows three principles regarding nuclear exports: exports serving peaceful purposes only, accepting IAEA safeguards . . . Only specialized government-designated companies can handle nuclear exports and in each instance they must apply for approval from relevant governmental departments. All exports of nuclear materials and equipment will be subject to IAEA safeguard. China has never exported sensitive technologies such as those for uranium enrichment, reprocessing and heavy water production.
— Information Office of the State Council of the PRC White Paper: “China: Arms Control and Disarmament”, Beijing Review, 11/27/95.
“. . . there isn”t any nuclear cooperation between China and Iran that is not under the safeguard of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
— Foreign Ministry spokesman Chen Jian, Xinhua, 9/26/95.
“. . . China as a State Party and particularly as a developing country with considerable nuclear industrial capabilities, strictly abides by the relevant provisions of the NPT to ensure the exclusive use [of such capabilities] for peaceful purposes . . .”
— Ambassador Sha Zukang, NPT Extension Conference, at UN, 1/23/95.
“China does not engage in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction . . .
— Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, AP newswire, 10/4/94.
“China is a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. We do not support or encourage nuclear proliferation, this has been a consistent position.
— Premier Li Peng, Beijing Central Television Program One, 3/22/94.
“[T]he Chinese government has consistently supported and participated in the international communities efforts for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.”
— Ambassador Hou Zhitong, address to the U.N. General Assembly, 10/21/92.
“[China] supports non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
— Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament and Security Issues in the Asia-Pacific Region, 8/17/92.
“The reports carried by some Western newspapers and magazines alleging that China has provided Iran with materials, equipment, and technology that can be used to produce nuclear weapons are utterly groundless.
— Foreign Ministry spokesman, Xinhua, 11/4/91.
“China has always stood for nuclear nonproliferation, neither encouraging nor engaging in nuclear proliferation.
— Premier Li Peng, Xinhua, 8/10/91.
“The Chinese Government has made it clear that it adheres to a nuclear nonproliferation policy. This means that China does not support, encourage, or engage in nuclear proliferation. We said so and have done so, too.
— Premier Li Peng, interview with Iranian and Chinese journalists, Renmin Ribao, 7/10/91.
“China has struck no nuclear deals with Iran . . . This inference is preposterous.
— Chinese embassy official Chen Guoqing, rebutting a claim that China had sold nuclear technology to Iran, letter to Washington Post, 7/2/91.
“The report claiming that China provides medium-range missiles for Pakistan is absolutely groundless. China does not stand for, encourage, or engage itself in nuclear proliferation and does not aid other countries in developing nuclear weapons.
— Foreign ministry spokesman Wu Janmin, Zhongguo Ximwen She, 4/25/91.
“China”s position is clear cut, that is, China won”t practice nuclear proliferation. Meanwhile we are against the proliferation of nuclear weapons by any other country.
. .”. Premier Li Peng, Xinhua, 4/1/91.
“. . . the Chinese Government has consistently supported and participated in the international community”s efforts for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
— Ambassador Hou Zhitong, Xinhua, 10/24/90.
“China seeks a policy of not encouraging or engaging in nuclear proliferation and not helping any country develop the deadly weapons.
— Ambassador Hou Zhitong, Xinhua, 9/12/90.
“China has adopted a responsible attitude [on nuclear cooperation], requiring the recipient countries of its nuclear exports to accept IAEA safeguards and ensuring that its own nuclear import is for peaceful purposes.
— Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, Xinhua, 2/27/90.
“China does not advocate, or encourage, or engage in nuclear proliferation and would only cooperate with other countries in the peaceful application of nuclear energy.
— Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, Renmin Ribao, 9/15/89.
“China, though not a [NPT] signatory, has repeatedly stated that it abides by the principles of nuclear nonproliferation.
— Xinhua, 5/9/89.
“As everyone knows, China does not advocate nor encourage nuclear proliferation. China does not engage in developing or assisting other countries to develop nuclear weapons.
— Foreign Ministry spokesman, Beijing radio, 5/4/89.
“The cooperation between China and Pakistan in the sphere of nuclear energy [is] entirely for peaceful purposes. The relevant agreements signed between the two countries consist of specific provisions guaranteeing safety. The allegations that China has been assisting Pakistan in the field of nuclear weapons . . . are completely groundless . . .”
— Foreign Ministry spokesman Li Zhaoxing, Beijing Radio, 1/19/89.
“[Secretary of Defense Frank] Carlucci said Chinese leaders emphasized that they would never sell nuclear weapons to foreign nations. . .”. Washington Post, 9/8/88.
“China does not advocate or encourage nuclear proliferation, nor does it help other countries develop nuclear weapons.
— Vice Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, Beijing Review, 3/30/87.
“The State Department and its allies insist that the negotiators made no such concessions. They argue that despite the text of the [US/China nuclear] agreement, they have obtained private assurances from the Chinese that Beijing will cooperate with unwritten American expectations. In particular, the chief American negotiator, Special Ambassador Richard T. Kennedy, has prepared a classified “Summary of Discussions,” in which he asserts that the Chinese have provided further pledges to reform their nuclear export policies. Touting these unwritten, unofficial assurances, he claims that the China pact would not compromise our vigilance against the spread of nuclear weapons.
— The New Republic, 11/25/85, p. 9.
“Since that time , we have received assurances from them [the Chinese government] and we have seen nothing, and there is no evidence, that indicates that they are not abiding by the assurances that they have provided us.
— Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James R. Lilley, congressional testimony, 11/13/85.
“The People”s Republic of China has clearly indicated that it shares our concerns about any nuclear weapons proliferation. . .”
— Secretary of Energy John S. Herrington, congressional testimony, 10/9/85.
“The Chinese made it clear to us that when they say they will not assist other countries to develop nuclear weapons, this also applies to all nuclear explosives . . . We are satisfied that the [nonproliferation] policies they have adopted are consistent with our own basic views.
— Ambassador Richard Kennedy, Department of State, congressional testimony, 10/9/85.
“The Chinese have also made a number of high-level policy statements, and I would emphasize that these were high-level policy statements and not mere toasts tossed off in haste and casually. These clearly set forth their position that they are opposed to the spread of nuclear weapons and do not assist or encourage others to develop weapons.
— Assistant Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz, congressional testimony, 10/9/85.
“Since negotiations began on the proposed agreement, China has made significant new statements on its nonproliferation policy . . . These statements show that China is opposed to the spread of nuclear explosives to additional countries.
— Ambassador Richard Kennedy, Department of State, congressional testimony, 9/12/85.
“The People”s Republic of China has clearly indicated that it shares our concerns about any nuclear weapons proliferation . . .
— Assistant Secretary of Energy George Bradley, congressional testimony, 9/12/85.
“The Chinese know that nuclear cooperation with us rests on their strict adherence to basic nonproliferation practices discussed and clarified at such great length.”
— ACDA Assistant Director Norman A. Wulf, congressional testimony, 9/12/85.
“Our contacts with the Chinese . . . have demonstrated clearly that they appreciate the importance we attach to nonproliferation. We are satisfied that the policies they have adopted are consistent with our own basic views.
— Ambassador-At-Large Richard Kennedy, congressional testimony, 7/31/85.
“Over these past two years, the Chinese Government has taken a number of important nonproliferation steps. First, it made a pledge that it does “not engage in nuclear proliferation
— nor does it “help other countries develop nuclear weapons”. The substance of this pledge has been reaffirmed several times by Chinese officials both abroad and within China. In fact, China”s Sixth National People”s Congress made this policy a directive to all agencies of that large and complex government. As such, it constitutes a historic and positive change in China”s policies.
— ACDA Director Kenneth Adelman, congressional testimony, 7/31/85.
“Energy Department sources said a key part of the administration”s presentation to Congress would be a classified summary of a meeting between Li Peng and special US ambassador and nuclear negotiator Richard T. Kennedy in Peking in June. Kennedy was said to have “nailed down Chinese assurances that they will work to halt the spread of atomic weapons and will abide by all US safeguard requirements. The sources said Kennedy wrote the summary and “showed it to the Chinese, and they said it’s consistent with the way they view their policies.
— Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) said he was promised that written assurances of the Chinese position would be included in the nuclear agreement package.
— “US and China Sign Nuclear-Power Pact, Washington Post, 7/24/85.
“A long-dormant nuclear cooperation agreement with China apparently has been rejuvenated by new written assurances from China on its commitment to control the spread of nuclear weapons, accorting to Senate and administration officials.
— “US-China Nuclear Pact Near: New Assurances Said Received on Control of Weapons, Washington Post, 7/22/85.
“Discussions with China that have taken place since the initialling of the proposed [nuclear] Agreement have contributed significantly to a shared understanding with China on what it means not to assist other countries to acquire nuclear explosives, and in facilitating China”s steps to put all these new policies into place. Thus, ACDA believes that the statements of policy by senior Chinese officials, as clarified by these discussions, represent a clear commitment not to assist a non-nuclear-weapon state in the acquisition of nuclear explosives.
— ACDA, “Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement, submitted to Congress on 7/24/85 with
the US/China Agreement for Cooperation, 7/19/85.
“China is not a party to the NPT, but its stance on the question is clear-cut and above-board . . . it stands for nuclear disarmament and disapproves of nuclear proliferation . . . In recent years, the Chinese Government has more and more, time and again reiterated that China neither advocates nor encourages nuclear proliferation, and its cooperation with other countries in the nuclear field is only for peaceful purposes”.
— Ambassador He Qian Jiadong, speech given at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, 6/27/85 (quoted by Amb. Richard Kennedy in congressional testimony, 7/31/85).
“I wish to reiterate that China has no intention, either at the present or in the future, to help non-nuclear countries develop nuclear weapons . . . China”s nuclear cooperation with other countries, either at present or in the future, is confined to peaceful purposes alone.
— Vice Premier Li Peng, Xinhua, 1/18/85.
“We are critical of the discriminatory treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, but we do not advocate or encourage nuclear proliferation. We do not engage in nuclear proliferation ourselves, nor do we help other countries develop nuclear weapons.
— Premier Zhao Ziyang, White House state dinner on 1/10/84, Xinhua, 1/11/84 (note: a US official later said that “These were solemn assurances with in fact the force of law, AP, 6/15/84).
“China does not encourage or support nuclear proliferation.
— Vice Premier Li Peng, Xinhua, 10/18/83.
“Like many other peace-loving countries, China does not advocate or encourage nuclear proliferation, and we are emphatically opposed to any production of nuclear weapons by racists and expansionists such as South Africa and Israel.
— Yu Peiwen, head of Chinese delegation to Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Xinhua, 8/4/81.