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Statement by Counsellor ZHANG Jun'an of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Debate on Nuclear Disarmament at the 66th Session of the UNGA First Committee


Mr. Chairman,

The complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and establishing a world free of nuclear weapons are the common aspiration of all the peace-loving people in the world. We are glad to see that such a proposition has won increasing support and recognition by the international community. In recent years, there have been signs of revival of the international nuclear disarmament process. The international community is dedicated to actively implementing the Final Document of the Eighth Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The United States and Russia have taken some steps in implementing the new START Treaty. China welcomes the above-mentioned positive progress.

Meanwhile, the realization of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and establishment of a world free of nuclear weapons remain a long-term and arduous task. International nuclear disarmament process is still confronted with serious challenges. The research and development of new types of nuclear weapons and the development and deployment of missile defence systems have produced negative impact on regional and international peace and stability.

Under the current circumstances, maintaining global strategic balance and stability and promoting international nuclear disarmament process serve the common interests of all parties. We should make full use of the positive elements in current international nuclear disarmament process, take the opportunity of implementing the Final Document of the Eighth NPT Review Conference, champion a new thinking on security featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and work to pursue comprehensive security, common security and cooperative security, with the view of creating an international environment featuring mutual benefit and common security, and fostering favorable conditions for making progress in nuclear disarmament. We should focus on the lofty goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and adopt a two-pronged approach of both promoting nuclear disarmament process and reducing nuclear weapon threats, to consolidate and enhance the hard-won momentum of nuclear disarmament. To this end, China would like to reaffirm the following points:

First, all nuclear-weapon states should fulfill in good faith obligations under Article VI of the NPT, and publicly undertake not to seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to take the lead in making drastic and substantive reductions in their nuclear weapons in a verifiable and irreversible manner. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)should be brought into force at an early date. The Conference on Disarmament (CD) is the sole appropriate forum for the negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). Negotiations on such a treaty with the participation of all relevant parties should commence at the CD as soon as possible. When conditions are mature, other nuclear-weapon states should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. To attain the ultimate goal of complete and thorough nuclear disarmament, the international community should develop, at an appropriate time, a viable, long-term plan composed of phased actions, including the conclusion of a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons.

Second, all nuclear-weapon states should abandon the nuclear deterrence policy based on first use of nuclear weapons and take credible steps to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. All nuclear-weapon states should unequivocally undertake no-first-use of nuclear weapons and negotiate and conclude a treaty on no-first-use of nuclear weapons against one another. Nuclear-weapon states should also unequivocally undertake not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and conclude a legally-binding international instrument in this regard at an early date.

Third, nuclear disarmament must follow the principles of promoting international stability, peace and security and undiminished and increased security for all. The development of missile defense systems that disrupt global strategic stability should be abandoned. Multilateral negotiation process to prevent the weaponization of and arms race in outer space should be vigorously promoted.

Fourth, the international community should extend strong support to efforts made by countries of relevant regions in establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones. We hope that all parties make joint efforts and actively participate in the preparatory process, to achieve positive outcomes from the 2012 International Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Chairman,

China has consistently stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and is firmly committed to a nuclear strategy of self-defense. China has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstances, and made the unequivocal commitment that it will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-fee zones. This open, unequivocal and transparent nuclear policy makes China unique among all nuclear-weapon states. China has never deployed any nuclear weapons on foreign territory. China has never participated in any form of nuclear arms race, nor will it ever do so. China will continue to keep its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security.

China is willing to work with the international community to continuously make unremitting efforts in promoting the international nuclear disarmament process and ultimately realizing the goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and establishing a world free of nuclear weapons.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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