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Chinese government ratifies ITER Agreement

Sabina Griffith

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On Thursday 30 August, the National People's Congress of China ratified the Agreement on the establishment of the ITER Organization, and the Agreement on the privileges and immunities of the ITER Organization. This is a first step to full ratification of the ITER Agreement by China, the final step being the signature of the Chinese President, which is expected shortly. The ratification took place as part of the seven-day, bimonthly meeting of the 170-member Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing.

The ITER Agreements were signed during a ceremony on 21 November last year in Paris, but before the ITER can be established formally as a true international organization, the ITER Agreement needs to be ratified, accepted or approved, in accordance with the procedures of each ITER Party. In the course of the year, the other six Parties have already concluded this process.

The ITER Agreement will enter into force 30 days after the reception by the IAEA - which is the repository of the ITER Agreement - of the official notification of the ratification from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At that time, ITER will officially become an international organization.

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