China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues [Updated August 8, 2003]   [open pdf - 159KB]

Congress has long been concerned about whether U.S. policy advances the U.S. interest in reducing the role of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles that could deliver them. Recipients of China's technology include Pakistan and countries that the State Department says support terrorism, such as Iran, North Korea, and Libya. This CRS Report discusses the national security problem of China's role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response, including legislation, since the mid-1990s. As the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) has reported, China remains a "key supplier" of weapons technology - particularly missile or chemical technology. On November 21, 2000, the Clinton Administration agreed to waive missile proliferation sanctions, resume processing licenses to export satellites to China, and discuss an extension of the bilateral space launch agreement, in return for another promise from China on missile nonproliferation. On 8 occasions, the Bush Administration has imposed sanctions on PRC entities for transfers (related to ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, and cruise missiles) to Pakistan and Iran, under the Arms Export Control Act, Export Administration Act, Iran Nonproliferation Act, Iran-Iraq Arms Nonproliferation Act, and Executive Order 12938. President Bush has not waived the sanctions imposed in September 2001. Moreover, on May 23, June 26, and July 30, 2003, the Administration imposed sanctions on PRC entities for missile proliferation, signaling U.S. frustrations with China. China's cooperation is also sought towards the issue of North Korea.

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31555
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