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Joint Statement on the Biological Weapons Convention

June 27, 1998

Recognizing the threat posed by biological and toxin weapons, the United States and China reaffirm their strong support for the complete global elimination of biological weapons. As States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention, the two sides stress the importance of the Convention to international peace and security, fully support the purposes and objectives of the Convention, and favor comprehensively strengthening the effectiveness and universality of the Convention.

The United States and China each reaffirm that they are determined to strictly abide by the provisions of the Convention, to earnestly and comprehensively fulfill the obligations each has undertaken, shall not develop, produce or stockpile biological weapons under any circumstances and shall oppose the proliferation of biological weapons and their technology and equipment.

Both the United States and China support efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of the Convention, including the establishment of a practical and effective compliance mechanism. In this connection, the two sides positively appraise the work of the Ad Hoc Group set up for this purpose on negotiating a protocol to the Convention. The two sides believe the protocol must include efficient, practical and cost effective measures to deter proliferation or violation of the Convention and improve transparency. Appropriate measures should be formulated and implemented in a manner that takes into account protection of sensitive commercial information and legitimate security needs, and in light of relevant national laws and regulations. The two sides express their desire to cooperate in the negotiations and work together to further accelerate an early conclusion of the negotiations on the protocol.

The United States and China agree that they shall strive to enhance bilateral cooperation and exchanges in the field of bio-technology and vigorously engage in and promote the peaceful use of biological technology.

NOTE: The joint statement was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary, but it was not issued as a White House press release.

William J. Clinton, Joint Statement on the Biological Weapons Convention Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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