The CWC bans the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons by members signatories. It also requires the destruction of all chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities. Neither the United States nor Russia will be able to meet the original CWC’s deadlines for destruction of their CW stockpiles, and have been granted extensions to at least 2012. The Convention provides the most extensive and intrusive verification regime of any arms control treaty, extending its coverage to not only governmental but also civilian facilities. The Convention also requires export controls and reporting requirements on chemicals that can be used as warfare agents and their precursors. The CWC establishes the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to oversee the Convention’s implementation.
Congress has long been concerned about whether U.S. policy advances the national interest in reducing the role of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles that could deliver them. China has taken some steps to mollify U.S. concerns about its role in weapons proliferation. Skeptics question whether China's cooperation in weapons nonproliferation has warranted President Bush's pursuit of stronger bilateral ties. This report discusses the national security problem of China's role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response, including legislation, since the mid-1990s.