Country Profile: China (Observer)


The People’s Republic of China is the world’s most populous country and one of the largest. It is located in Asia and borders fourteen states: Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. The PRC was established in 1949 under the Communist Party; today China is a unitary one-party socialist republic.

China is the only NAM-affiliated country that is also a nuclear-weapons state (NWS) under the NPT. China first tested an atomic bomb in 1964 and had progressed to successful thermonuclear tests by 1967. It conducted a total of 45 tests between 1964 and 1996, after which it became a signatory to the CTBT.

Capital: Beijing

China has 48 operational units across multiple nuclear power plants. At the Tuoli plant, one FBR reactor first reached criticality in 2010 and is operated by the China Institute of Atomic Energy; since 2015 the Changjiang plant has held two PWR units which are operated by the Hainan Nuclear Power Company; the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant also contains two PWR units, operational since 1993-1994; at the Guangxi Fangchenggang plant, two PWR units are operational and two additional units have been under construction since 2015; seven PWR units are operated by the Qinshan Nuclear Power Company at a Jaixing location through multiple joint ventures, as well as two PHWR units. The CNNS Fujian Fuqing Nuclear Power Co., LTD introduced one new PWR unit to the Fuqing plant every year from 2014-2017, with two more currently under construction; the Haiyang plant features two PWR reactors, operational since 2018; the Hongyanhe plant has four operational PWR reactors, with two more under construction; the Lingdong Nuclear Power Company Ltd. operates four PWR reactors, which first connected to the grid between 2002 and 2011; four PWRs have been operated by the Fujian Ningde Nuclear Power Company since 2012; two PWR units operated by the Sanmen Nuclear Power Company recently reached criticality in 2018. Two PWR units operated by the Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company reached first criticality in 2018, although only one is currently connected to the grid. The Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation operates three PWRs and has two more under construction; Yiangjiang Nuclear Power Company operates six PWR units, most recently connecting to the grid in 2019; the CNNP Guodian Zhangzhou Energy Company is currently building an additional PWR; finally, a HTGR unit owned by the China Huaneng Group is also under construction.

There are 19 nuclear research facilities in China. In addition to a subcritical assembly and a critical assembly used for nuclear data measurements, the Chinese Institute of Atomic Energy operates a fast breeder reactor (CEFR) used for materials testing and some electricity generation, as well as a tank-in-pool reactor (CARR) used for isotope production, neutron scattering, and trasmutation. Beijing Capture Tech Co., Ltd. operates an MNSR reactor (IHNI-1) that is used for neutron radiology and activation analysis. The Institute of Nuclear Physics and Chemistry operates the China Mianyang Research Reactor, which is a pool-type reactor used primarily for neutron scattering, as well as a pool-type reactor (SPRR-300) used for transmutation and radiography. The Institute of Atomic Energy’s Department of Reactor Engineering and Technology operates two different facilities: SPR IAE, a pool-type reactor and MNSR IAE, an MNSR-type used for activation analysis, education & training. Tsinghua University own two different units as well: ESR-901 is a two-core, pool-type reactor used for education & training while HTR-10 is a high temperature, gas reactor. Shenzen University runs an MNSR reactor (MNSR-SZ). Finally, the Nuclear Power Institute of China operates three reactors: two pool-type reactors (MJTR and PPR PULSING, which uses UZrH fuel) and one tank reactor (HFETR) for isotope production, transmutation, and education & training. Three experimental facilities are currently in the planning phase.

China is the only NAM-affiliated country that is also a nuclear-weapons state (NWS) under the NPT. China first tested an atomic bomb in 1964 and had progressed to successful thermonuclear tests by 1967. It has conducted a total of 45 tests between 1964 and 1996, after which it became a signatory to the CTBT.


        • Observer of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
        • Member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 1984
        • Acceded to 1925 Geneva Protocol in 1952
        • Acceded to Antarctic Treaty in 1983
        • Acceded to Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1984
        • Signed Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1993
          • Ratified in 1997
        • Signed Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996
        • Signed Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in 1981
          • Ratified in 1982
        • Acceded to Convention on Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD) in 2005
        • Acceded to the Convention on the Physical protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) in 1989
        • Signed International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT) in 2005
          • Ratified in 2010
        • Acceded to Outer Space Treaty in 1983
        • Signed Treaty of Pelindaba in 1996
          • Ratified in 1997
        • Acceded to Sea-bed Treaty in 1991
        • Signed South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty in 1987
          • Ratified in 1988
        • Signed Treaty of Tlatelolco in 1973
          • Ratified in 1974
        • Signed Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia (CANWFZ) in 2014
          • Ratified in 2015
        • Acceded to Treaty for the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1992


        • Member of the Asia-Pacific Group
        • Member of the G-77
        • Member of the 1540 Committee
        • Member of the East Asia Summit (EAS)
        • Observer of the Organization of American States (OAS)


        • Permanent member of the UN Security Council, UNSC President in March 2020
        • IAEA Board Member for 2019-2020
        • Permanent member of the 1540 Committee


Permanent Mission of the People’ Republic of China to the UN

China Atomic Energy Authority

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

UN State Summary

Ratification of Treaties & Memberships in International Organizations Related to Disarmament