US-China Science, Tech Pact Is Renewed for Another Six Months

State Department — The United States and China have agreed to extend a science and technology agreement for another six months, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.

“The Department of State on behalf of the U.S. government is negotiating to amend, extend and strengthen protections within the U.S.-PRC Science and Technology Agreement (STA). In February 2024, the United States and PRC agreed to an additional short-term six-month extension of the U.S.-PRC STA,” a spokesperson told VOA.

“The short-term six-month extension keeps the agreement in force while we continue negotiations,” the spokesperson added.

U.S. officials have said the STA provides consistent standards for government-to-government scientific cooperation between the U.S. and China.

While the agreement supports scientific collaboration in areas that benefit the United States, U.S. officials acknowledge the challenges posed by China’s national science and technology strategies and its domestic legal framework.

Critics, including U.S. lawmakers, point out China’s restrictions on data and a lack of transparency in sharing scientific findings. Washington is also concerned about Beijing’s potential military application of shared research.

The STA was originally signed in 1979 by then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter and then-PRC leader Deng Xiaoping.

The agreement has been renewed about every five years since its inception, with the most recent 5-year extension occurring in 2018. Last August, it received a 6-month extension as officials from the two countries undertook negotiations to amend and strengthen the terms.

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