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Statement by Head of the Chinese Delegation Mr. Zhang Yan in the General Debate at the 2005 NPT Review Conference
(3 May 2005, New York)

2005/05/03


Mr. President,

First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, to congratulate you on your election as President at this Review Conference.

Mr. President,

Since last Review Conference, both encouraging and disturbing developments have been witnessed in international security. On the one hand, some regional tensions are coming to relaxation; international cooperation is increasing in dealing with global challenges; various regional cooperation is also on the rise. Factors favorable for maintaining peace and preventing war are growing and the development in international security situation is in general peace-oriented.

While on the other hand, uncertain, unstable and unpredictable factors affecting international security are increasing too. The increasing non-traditional threats intertwined with traditional threats constitute new challenges for international security. Terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) become increasingly prominent. The emerging regional nuclear issues as well as the exposure of nuclear smuggling network have overshadowed the international non-proliferation efforts.

It is no less disturbing that the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which is regarded as "cornerstone of strategic stability" by the international community, was discarded; the outer space is facing the danger of weaponization; the prospect of enter-into-force of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is diluted; international arms control and disarmament is at stalemate; the Conference on Disarmament (CD) has long been paralyzed, making it impossible to start negotiations on issues such as the fissile material cut-off treaty(FMCT) and the prevention of arms race in outer space. Meanwhile, some negative developments, including sticking to the Cold War mentality, pursuing unilateralism, advocating pre-emptive strategy, listing other countries as targets of nuclear strike and lowering the threshold of using nuclear weapons, researching and developing new types of nuclear weapons for specific purposes, add new destabilizing factors to international security.

In such context, this Review Conference becomes the focus of attention. The international community is expecting States Parties to reach broad consensus and coordinate actions so as to effectively meet new challenges, further promote multilateral arms control and non-proliferation process, and make due contribution to maintaining international peace and security, promoting common prosperity and development.

Mr. President,

NPT has been in effect for 35 years. Withstanding the test of time, it has become the global treaty with the widest participation. History and today's reality have proven its indispensable value and function. It has played an important role in preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons, diminishing nuclear peril as well as maintaining international peace and security. Despite challenges to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and the global security and arms control, NPT still stands as the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, a decisive factor safeguarding world peace and stability and a successful model in solving security concerns through multilateral approaches.

In light of the latest developments, challenges and problems in international security, it is urgent for the international community to take more pragmatic and concrete steps to preserve and strengthen the universality, effectiveness and authority of the NPT. To achieve this, the three goals of NPT, namely nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, must be promoted in a comprehensive and balance manner. The three goals are interlinked and inseparable. The Chinese Delegation hopes that this Conference will make progress in promoting the three goals of the Treaty. Let me elaborate briefly China's principled positions as following,

Mr. President,

To take effective measures to promote nuclear disarmament is one of the goals set by NPT. China has always advocated that all nuclear-weapon states should explicitly commit themselves to destroying nuclear weapons in a complete and thorough manner; lowering the role of nuclear weapons in national security policy. The two countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should earnestly implement the treaty they have concluded to reduce their nuclear weapons and further reduce their nuclear arsenals in a verifiable and irreversible manner, thus creating a favorable condition for the ultimate, complete and thorough nuclear disarmament.

The CTBT is a significant step in the nuclear disarmament process. We hope that all countries will sign and ratify the treaty at an early date. The nuclear-weapon states and the other countries concerned should observe the moratorium before the Treaty entering into force.

In the Conference on Disarmament, the only multilateral negotiating body in the disarmament field, efforts should be made to reach agreement on the program of work so as to start the negotiation of FMCT at an early date, as well as establish the ad hoc committees and start substantive work on nuclear disarmament, security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states and non-weaponization of the outer space. We hope this Review Conference will provide a chance to break the deadlock.

Mr. President,

Preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a pressing task facing the international community. China opposes proliferation of nuclear weapons in any form, calls upon all those outside the NPT to join as non-nuclear-weapon states, and is in favor of continued efforts to enhance and improve the existing nuclear non-proliferation regime in accordance with new developments. We believe that issues of proliferation should be dealt through an integrated approach addressing both the symptoms and root causes. We propose in this regard,

1. To earnestly create favorable international and regional security conditions conducive to non-proliferation. No country today can solve all its security problems by itself, let alone to enjoy a lasting peace and security at the expense of the security of other countries. Countries should respect each other's security interests and strive for a relationship based on mutual trust, mutual benefits, equality and cooperation so as to realize common security, thus making it possible to eradiate political and security motivations for nuclear proliferation.

2. To solve the prominent nuclear proliferation and other related issues through political and diplomatic means within the current international legal framework. Unilateralism and double standard practice on non-proliferation issues should be discarded. The fundamental goal of non-proliferation is to promote and maintain international security. Issues of proliferation concern should be addressed through dialogue and cooperation on equal basis rather than confrontation and exerting pressure.

3. To strengthen and improve the existing non-proliferation regime in light of overall non-proliferation situation and the global economic, scientific and technological developments. Any measures to strengthen the international non-proliferation regime should follow the principle of multilateralism through broad participation, so as to ensure the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory nature of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. Greater role should be given to the UN and other international organizations in this respect.

Mr. Presdent,

Ensuring the rights of peaceful uses of nuclear energy is an important guarantee to promote the universality,effectiveness and authority of the NPT. The relation between non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be put in correct perspective and properly dealt with. They are mutually complementary and inseparable with each other. The rights of non-nuclear-weapon states to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, under the IAEA safeguards shall be respected and preserved. Non-proliferation efforts should not undermine the legitimate rights of countries, while on the other hand diversion from peaceful use to non-peaceful purposes should also be prevented. In order to enhance activities in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, international community should contribute more funds and technology, and support IAEA in playing more important role in this regard.

Mr. President,

As a State Party to the NPT, China has always faithfully observed its obligations and committed to the three objectives of the treaty, and preserving and strengthening its universality, effectiveness and authority.

As a nuclear-weapon state, China has never shunned its responsibility in nuclear disarmament. The Chinese Government has always supported a complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, exercised utmost restraint in developing nuclear weapons. China has never taken part, and will not do so, in any nuclear arms race and supported to promote nuclear disarmament process based on the principle of "preservation of global strategic stability" and "undiminished security for all". China supports an early-entry-into-force of the CTBT and is now working actively on its internal legal proceedings for ratifying the treaty. China supports the start of negotiation of FMCT within the framework of a balanced program of work at the CD.

Mr. President,

China believes that it is more than justified for the non-nuclear-weapon states to request to be free from threat of nuclear weapons upon forgoing development of those weapons and to have nuclear-weapon states provide assurances in this regard in a legally binding form. On the very first day it possessed nuclear weapons, China solemnly declared that at no time and under no circumstances would it be the first to use nuclear weapons. Later, China undertook unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states nor nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has consistently urged all nuclear-weapon states to undertake these commitments in a legal form, and will continue to do so. China has signed all relevant protocols to the nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties that are open to signature. China and the ASEAN countries have reached agreement on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and its protocol. China supports the efforts of the Middle East and Central Asian countries to establish the nuclear-weapon-free zones.

Mr. President,

As a developing country, China needs both an international and peripheral environment of long-term peace and stability. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery benefits neither world peace and stability nor China's own security. China strictly observes its obligations under NPT in non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. China has opposed the proliferation of nuclear weapons in any form and actively participated in international efforts in this regard. It is the firm policy of the Chinese Government to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons. In December 2003, the Chinese Government published its first white paper on nonproliferation entitled China's Non-Proliferation Policy and Measures, giving a comprehensive account of China's non-proliferation policies and measures.

In recent years, according to the principle of rule of law, the Chinese Government has established a complete legal system on export control including that in the nuclear area. China has widely adopted export controls consistent with international practice, including exporters' registration system, licensing system, end-user and end-use certificates, list control method. The guidelines and scope of China's export control are basically identical to the international norms. In light of the latest developments, China is further improving its regulations and laws, applying the catch-all principle, and making the acceptance of IAEA full-scope safeguards by importing country as condition for nuclear export. The Chinese Government has adopted a series of measures, such as publicizing relevant policies and regulations, conducting outreach activities, to ensure effective implementation of related regulations and laws.

China actively participates in the international non-proliferation efforts. In June 2004, China joined the Nuclear Suppliers Group, thus has joined all international treaties and multilateral mechanism in area of nuclear non-proliferation. China is the first nuclear-weapon state that has completed domestic legal procedures necessary for the entry into force of the Protocol Additional. China actively participates and promotes the construction, development and perfection of the multilateral nuclear non-proliferation regimes. We have participated in the consultations to amend the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, and made great efforts to facilitate the amendment process. China is also actively engaged in bilateral and multilateral exchanges and cooperation on non-proliferation, supports and implements strictly Security Council Resolution 1540.

Mr. President,

China actively supports and participates in international efforts aimed at peacefully resolving issues of proliferation concern. China will continue to make efforts to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula appropriately through six party talks and maintain peace and stability on the peninsula together with other countries. We hope that parties concerned could refrain from provocative action and demonstrate more flexibility to create favorable conditions for the resumption of the talks. China favors resolving the Iranian nuclear issue within the framework of IAEA and supports the efforts by Iran and the three EU countries to negotiate a long-term solution.

Mr. President,

The Chinese Government has regarded the development of nuclear energy as an important component of its national strategy in economic and energy development. Guided by the "scientific approach of development characterized with human-orientation, balance, harmony and sustainability", we are actively boosting the use of nuclear energy and the application of nuclear technology, optimizing the energy structure, improving ecological environment, and promoting economic development and technological progress for the benefits of the people.

China attaches great importance to the cooperation with the IAEA in the field of nuclear safety and we will intensify our cooperation in information exchange and personnel training. China supports the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism approved by the 59th General Assembly of the United Nations. China took an active part in the drafting and consultations of the Joint Convention of the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Waste Radiological Management. China has commenced relevant work for joining the Convention.

China has always supported the international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and attached importance to the role of IAEA in this regard. Since its accession to IAEA in 1984, China has paid its assessed contribution to the Technical Cooperation Fund in full and on time. Last year China contributed an extra US$1 million, supporting the projects of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in developing countries. Guided by the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit, China has signed intergovernmental agreements of cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with nearly 20 countries and undertakes various forms of cooperation.

Mr. President,

We are to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations in four months. By recalling the history of the scourge of war, confrontation and arms race, and by reviewing the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, we firmly believe that there is a need to further strengthen the collective security framework centered on the United Nations and promote the lofty cause of peace, stability and cooperation together.

Thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and realization of a world free of nuclear weapons is the common aspiration of the international community, and is one of the ultimate goals of NPT as well. It is the responsibility of all States Parties to seize this opportunity to promote the universality, effectiveness and authority of NPT, reinvigorate the vitality of international arms control and disarmament process, and promote the world peace and security. The Chinese Delegation will strive for a positive result of this Review Conference together with all other delegations.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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