China tightens export control over nuclear goods, technology

Updated: 2007-02-17 08:45

The State Council on Friday promulgated amendments to its regulations regarding the export of nuclear goods and technologies for both civil and military use, requiring the importers to fulfill more obligations to ward off acts of nuclear terrorism.

The State Council Decree No 484, signed by Premier Wen Jiabao, forbids the importer from reproducing nuclear goods or technologies provided by China to carry out nuclear explosions or for any other purpose which is not agreed before purchase.

The recipient of the goods must also guarantee that they would not reproduce the materials for nuclear fuel cycling unless it is under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency or it has signed agreements with the agency.

Importers are also forbidden from transferring a reproduction of nuclear goods and technologies to any third party which has not been identified as the final user.

Previous regulations enacted by China in June 1998 failed to address the issue of reproduction of nuclear goods.

The revision of the regulation also added software onto the country's control list for nuclear exports, which used to refer only to equipment, materials and relative technologies.

Observers said the revision, which takes effect immediately, is a sign of China's commitment to nuclear nonproliferation and a reaction to rising concerns over the possibility of nuclear terrorism.

The revision also clarifies that the Chinese government would take "all necessary measures" to prevent nuclear goods and technologies exports from jeopardizing national and global peace and security.

It also says for the first time that licensed companies must keep all contracts, invoices and business correspondences relevant to the export of nuclear goods and technologies for at least five years.

A special expert consulting panel will be set up under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Commerce to undertake the consulting, evaluation and verification of nuclear goods and technologies for exports.

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