Message to the Congress Transmitting the Proposed China-United States Nuclear Energy Agreement

July 24, 1985

To the Congress of the United States:

I am pleased to transmit to the Congress, pursuant to sections 123(b) and 123(d) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2153(b), (d)), the text of the proposed agreement between the United States and the People's Republic of China Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, with accompanying annexes and agreed minute. The proposed agreement is accompanied by my written determination, approval, and authorization, and the Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement by the Director of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency concerning the agreement. The joint memorandum submitted to me by the Secretaries of State and Energy, which includes a summary analysis of the provisions of the agreement, and the views of the Director of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency are also enclosed.

The proposed agreement with the People's Republic of China has been negotiated in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act, which sets forth certain requirements for new agreements for cooperation with other countries.

It is the first peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement with a Communist country and the only such agreement with another nuclear-weapon state (the United Kingdom and France are covered by U.S. agreements with EURATOM).

During the last several years, the People's Republic of China has developed ambitious plans for the installation of a substantial number of nuclear power stations. The proposed agreement reflects the desire of the Government of the United States and the Government of the People's Republic of China to establish a framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation. During the period of our negotiations and discussions, China took several important steps that clarify its non-proliferation and nuclear export policies. Premier Zhao has made important statements of China's non-proliferation policy that make clear that China will not contribute to proliferation. Those statements have been endorsed by the National People's Congress, thereby giving them official status. Based on our talks with the Chinese, we can expect that China's policy of not assisting a non-nuclear weapon state to acquire nuclear explosives will be implemented in a manner consistent with the basic non-proliferation practices common to the United States and other suppliers. Further, in conjunction with China's membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency, effective January 1, 1984, China has said that it will require IAEA safeguards on its future nuclear export commitments to non-nuclear weapons states.

This agreement will have a significant, positive impact on overall U.S.-China relations. It will provide the United States and its companies an opportunity to participate in another aspect of China's energy programs, with possibly substantial economic benefit. The proposed agreement will, in my view, further the non-proliferation and other foreign policy interests of the United States.

I have considered the views and recommendations of the interested agencies in reviewing the proposed agreement and have determined that its performance will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security. Accordingly, I have approved the agreement and authorized its execution.

I have also found that this agreement meets all applicable requirements of the Atomic Energy Act, as amended, for agreements for peaceful nuclear cooperation and therefore I am transmitting it to the Congress without exempting it from any requirement contained in section 123(a) of that Act. This transmission shall constitute a submittal for purposes of both section 123(b) and 123(d) of the Atomic Energy Act. The Administration is prepared to begin immediately the consultations with the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees as provided in section 123(b). Upon completion of the 30 day continuous session period provided in section 123(b), the 60 day continuous session period provided for in section 123(d) shall commence.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

July 24, 1985.