The United States today waived sanctions against Chinese entities for missile-related exports to Iran and Pakistan in exchange for a new commitment by China to establish formal and comprehensive missile-related export controls. China announced its intention to publish a formal missile-related export control list, including dual-use items with applications in ballistic missiles, and to require all Chinese entities to obtain an export control license for all controlled items.

This move by China puts in place the means for China to comply with an earlier commitment to abide by the terms of the Missile Technology Control Regime. Importantly, it also includes for the first time a Chinese commitment to control missile-related "dual-use" items. The statements by the United States to waive sanctions and by China to establish the new controls come after years of prolonged negotiations between the two states. China established a similar system of controls for nuclear items in order to obtain U.S. acceptance of an agreement for nuclear cooperation in 1998. Until now, however, China had not announced any plans to establish a similar system to control missile-related exports.

In addition to the waiving of U.S. sanctions against Chinese entities -- although sanctions are expected to be imposed against the recipient entities -- the United States announced that it will resume normal consideration of export license requests by U.S. companies to launch satellites on-board Chinese space launch vehicles. The United States will also resume talks with China on extending the 1995 agreement regarding international launch services. The agreement between the two states is the latest in a series of steps by China to control nuclear and missile related exports in exchange for increasing the prospects for international trade and cooperation with the United States. For a detailed chronology of these steps, refer to China’s Proliferation Record Timeline.