China: Accession to Outer Space Treaty

State China
Treaty Outer Space Treaty
Action Type Accession
Depositary Government of the United States of America
Date 30 December 1983
Note

The Republic of China signed the Treaty on January 27, 1967 and deposited an instrument of ratification of the Treaty on July 24, 1970.  Effective January 1, 1979, the United States recognized the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China.  The authorities on Taiwan state that they will continue to abide by the provisions of the Treaty and the United States regards them as bound by its obligations.

On December 30, 1983, the People’s Republic of China deposited an instrument of accession to the Treaty.  Included in the text of the instrument of accession is a declaration, an English translation of which reads as follows:

“The Government of the People’s Republic of China declares as illegal and null and void the signature on and ratification of the . . . Treaty on 27 January 1967 and 24 July 1970 respectively by the Taiwan authorities usurping the name of China.”

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States of America addressed a note, dated June 3, 1997, to the Secretary of State, an English translation of which reads as follows:

“Your Excellency,

“In accordance with the Joint Declaration  of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the Question of Hong Kong signed on 19 December 1984, the People’s Republic of China will resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong with effect from 1 July 1997.  Hong Kong will, with effect from that date, become a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defense affairs which are the responsibilities of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China.

“In this connection, I am instructed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China to make the following notification:

“The Treaty on the Principles Concerning the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies done on 27 January 1967 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Treaty’) to which the Government of the People’s Republic of China deposited its instrument of accession on 30 December 1983, will apply to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with effect from 1 July 1997.

“The Government of the People’s Republic of China will assume responsibility for the international rights and obligations arising from the application of the Treaty to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

“It would be appreciated if the contents of this Note could be placed formally on record and brought to the attention of the other Parties to the Treaty.

“Please accept, Your excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States of America addressed a note, dated December 9, 1999, to the Secretary of State, which reads as follows:

“Dear Madam Secretary,

“I have the pleasure to bring to your attention the underneath:

“In accordance with the Joint Declaration of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Portugal on the Question of Macao signed on 13 April 1987, the Government of the People’s Republic of China will resume the exercise of sovereignty over Macao with effect from 20 December 1999.  Macao will, with effect from that date, become a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defense affairs which are the responsibilities of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China.

“In this connection, I am instructed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’[s] Republic of China to inform Your Excellency of the following:

“The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, done on 27 January 1967 (hereinafter referred to as the Treaty) to which the Government of the People’s Republic of China deposited its instrument of accession on [30 December 1983], will apply to the Macao Special Administrative Region with effect from 20 December 1999.

“The Government of the People’s Republic of China will assume responsibility for the international rights and obligations arising from the application of the Treaty to the Macao Special Administrative Region.

“It would be appreciated if the contents of this Note could be placed formally on record and brought to the attention of the other Parties to the Treaty.

“Please accept, dear Madam Secretary, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Other Actions Accession on deposit with London — 12 January 1984
Accession on deposit with Moscow — 6 January 1984