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U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, "Hearing: China's Proliferation Practices and the Challenge of North Korea," July 24, 2003

This hearing was conducted by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on July 24, 2003. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was created by the U.S. Congress in 2000 to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
July 24, 2003

July 24, 2003
Room 138, Dirksen Senate Office Building
1st Constitution Ave., NE,
Washington, DC 20510


On behalf of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, we are pleased to transmit the record of our hearing on July 24, 2003 examining China’s proliferation policies and practices in the post 9/11 era, focusing in particular on its role in the developing North Korean nuclear crisis.

As you know, the Commission is mandated by law (P.L. 108–7, Division P) to ‘‘analyze and assess the Chinese role in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other weapons (including dual use technologies) to terrorist-sponsoring states, and suggest possible steps which the United States might take, including economic sanctions, to encourage the Chinese to stop such practices.’’ The Commission heard testimony from current and previous Administration and Intelligence Community officials, as well as a range of outside experts, on the current state of Chinese proliferation practices, on the events unfolding with regard to North Korea’s nuclear program and on the implications of these developments for U.S. national security.

We addressed the efforts of the Chinese government in the post 9/11 period to curtail its proliferation practices, which have served as an issue of contention for many years, the quality of its enforcement of newly-established export controls for weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and the effectiveness of current U.S. sanctions laws and practices. Witnesses provided a number of recommendations for encouraging the Chinese government to strengthen its commitment to curtail such proliferation activities, and to address continuing shortcomings of its export control system, as well as to review the adequacy of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

China’s role in cooperating with the United States in addressing the North Korean nuclear crisis was a priority issue in the hearing, given the urgency of this national security challenge. The scope and secrecy of its nuclear weapons program, coupled with a North Korean history of deception and lack of respect for agreements it has previously entered into, its willingness to export missiles and components of WMD, its economic dependence on those exports, and the potential for North Korea to become a near-term exporter of fissile materials as well as complete nuclear weapons are clearly a matter of supreme importance for the U.S. Therefore, the Commission believes the extent of Chinese cooperation in achieving an irreversibly de-nuclearized Korean peninsula is a key, if not the key, test of the U.S.-China relationship in the current period. China’s recent diplomatic efforts in helping to secure North Korea’s agreement to engage in the upcoming multiparty talks is encouraging, but must be followed up by the active use of its substantial leverage to persuade North Korea to freeze its reprocessing efforts and dismantle its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and to accommodate an intrusive international verification regime, which ensures the effective implementation of any agreement that is ultimately reached.

The stakes of the upcoming multiparty talks for U.S. national security and, indeed, the viability of nonproliferation programs globally, are enormous. Given those stakes, and the long history of Congress’ involvement in fashioning and approving agreements dealing with arms control and issues of such national importance, we, the Chairman and Vice Chairman, believe that the building of a bipartisan consensus underpinning the goals and outcome of such negotiations argues for an early, informed and reinforcing role for the Congress. If Congress is fully engaged and vested in any future agreement with North Korea it would substantially improve prospects for a durable consensus between the two branches on this vital matter.

Yours truly,

Roger W. Robinson, Jr.

C. Richard D’Amato
Vice Chairman

Opening Statement by Chairman Roger W. Robinson, Jr.
Opening Statement by Vice Chairman C. Richard D'Amato
Opening Statement by Robert F. Ellsworth, Hearing Co-Chairman

Former U.S. Senators and Former Administration Officials
Hon. Madeleine Albright, The Albright Group
Sen. Fred Thompson
Hon. Stephen Bosworth, Dean, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University
Hon. Paula A. DeSutter, Assistant Secretary for Verification and Compliance, State Department
Hon. Robert J. Einhorn, Senior Adviser, Center for Strategic & International Studies
Hon. Fred C. Ikle, Distinguished Scholar, Center for Strategic & International Studies
John Olsen, Sandia National Laboratories
Hon. Wendy Sherman, The Albright Group
Leonard Spector, Deputy Director, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies



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