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China: Arms Control

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings of the UK-China Bilateral Group on arms control and disarmament have been held since its inception; what (a) matters have been discussed and (b) decisions have been taken by the group; and if he will publish (i) each paper discussed by the group and (ii) the minutes of each meeting on his Department's website. (255773)

There is no formal bilateral working group between the UK and China on arms control and disarmament. However, we maintain a high level dialogue between senior officials to discuss counter-proliferation issues. The most recent of these exchanges took place in September 2008 between the FCO Director-General for Defence and Intelligence and her Chinese counterpart. I recently raised matters of counter-proliferation with my Chinese counterpart during my visit to Beijing last month. In addition, embassy officials in Beijing regularly meet officials from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss these issues.