China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues [January 7, 2009]   [open pdf - 891KB]

"Congress has long been concerned about whether U.S. policy advances U.S. security interests in reducing the role of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles as well as obtaining China's cooperation in weapons nonproliferation. This problem refers to the threat of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons and missiles that could deliver them. Some have argued that certain PRC transfers violated international treaties or guidelines, and/or have contravened various U.S. laws requiring sanctions to shore up those international standards. Even if no laws or treaties are violated, many view China's transfers as threatening U.S. security interests. Using a variety of unclassified consultations and sources, this CRS Report discusses the national security problem of the PRC's role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response, including legislation, since the mid-1990s. Table 1, at the end of this report, summarizes the U.S. sanctions imposed or waived on PRC entities or the PRC government for weapons proliferation. For a discussion of the policy problem in the 1980s to 1996, see CRS Report 96-767, Chinese Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Background and Analysis, by Shirley A. Kan. See also, by the same author, CRS Report 98-485, China: Possible Missile Technology Transfers Under U.S. Satellite Export Policy--Actions and Chronology."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31555
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