China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues [Updated November 15, 2006]   [open pdf - 241KB]

From the Summary: "Congress has long been concerned about whether U.S. policy advances the national 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 reportedly include Pakistan and countries that the State Department says support terrorism, such as Iran and North Korea. This CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report, updated as warranted, 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. China has taken some steps to mollify U.S. concerns about its role in weapons proliferation. Nonetheless, supplies from China have aggravated trends that result in ambiguous technical aid, more indigenous capabilities, longer-range missiles, and secondary (retransferred) proliferation. As the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) has reported to Congress, China remains a 'key supplier' of weapons technology, particularly missile or chemical technology. […] Skeptics question whether China's cooperation in weapons nonproliferation has warranted President Bush's pursuit of stronger bilateral ties. The Administration has imposed repeated sanctions on 'entities' but not the PRC government. The House International Relations Committee held a hearing on May 18, 2004, to question U.S. support for China's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group despite PRC ties with Pakistan. China has not joined the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Since 2002, Bush has relied on China's 'considerable influence' on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons. China helped with the process of the Six-Party Talks and sponsored the Joint Statement of September 19, 2005, but results remain elusive. China has pursued balanced positions on Iran and North Korea, but also evolved to vote for U.N. Security Council resolutions on those countries that called for some sanctions. Questions remain about PRC sanctions after Pyongyang's nuclear test."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31555
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