(March 28, 2002, Geneva)
Please allow me to begin, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, by congratulating you on your assumption of the Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament (CD). I would also like to avail myself of this opportunity to express our appreciation for the unremitting endeavors exerted by your predecessors, Messrs. Fisseha Yimer and Mohamed Tawfik.
Today I would like to focus on two issues : prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS) and fissile material cut-off.
With regard to outer space, we have seen the following facts: During the 20 years since the"Star Wars Initiatives"was first unveiled, tremendous headway has been made in the sphere of military and weapon technologies related to outer space, and the weapons and weapon systems that were mere blueprints in the past are being turned into reality. The ABM Treaty has been abolished unilaterally. The missile defense project, which is being pushed forward in all its aspects, has overtly incorporated the outer space weapon systems as an important component. The relevant organizations and resource allocations have been optimized.
In the meantime, the operational concepts of"Space Control" and "Assuring the Superiority in Outer space" have been put forward, and both the doctrine on fighting wars in outer space and the command structure are firmly in place. About a year ago, the first "Space War Exercise" simulated the use of anti-satellite weapons, strategic missile defense systems and land-based laser weapons to attack space targets. The formation and improvement of military units for outer space are moving ahead. While the development of missile defense system and the research on space weapons are surging forward in tandem, the plan to"control the space" has entered the stage of implementation.
The above-mentioned facts testify to the imminent danger of outer space weaponization, the consequences of which will not only trigger off a possible arms race in outer space, but also cause serious damage to the international disarmament process and the global strategic balance and stability. Such a development definitely goes against the good will of the international community for the peaceful use of outer space. Against this backdrop, the task of preventing the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space stands out as a most pressing issue today. As the sole multilateral disarmament-negotiating forum, the CD should face up this reality and take effective actions to meet this challenge.
The last 50 years have witnessed the process of research, deployment and reduction of nuclear weapons. History tells us how tedious a task it has been to achieve nuclear disarmament when these weapons were already developed and