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Wednesday, October 29, 1997


Paul Leventhal, president of the Nuclear Control Institute, today released the following statement on President Clinton's announcement of a nuclear accord with China:

"The last time China made such sweeping non-proliferation commitments to the United States was in 1985 when it was signing a peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States and covertly exporting a plutonium-production reactor to Algeria at the same time.

"Fortunately, Congress had established conditions that prevented the U.S.-China nuclear agreement from taking effect until the President could certify that China is not assisting other countries to acquire nuclear weapons. Now, on the basis of new commitments from China and an untested Chinese nuclear-export control system, President Clinton is making the required certification to clear the way for U.S. sales of nuclear reactors and fuel to China.

"Given China's long record of broken promises and its refusal to cut off all nuclear assistance to Iran and Pakistan, Congress should require a one-year waiting period before nuclear sales to China could begin---and then only after the President recertifies the validity of China's commitments each time a U.S. nuclear vendor applies for an export license.

"The United States should await proof, not promises, of China's good nuclear intentions, and that requires the test of time."


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