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Statement by Ambassador Hu Xiaodi on Nuclear Disarmament and Reduction of the Danger of Nuclear War
19 May 2005 at Main Committee I of the NPT Review Conference, New York

2005/05/20

Mr. Chairman,

Preservation and strengthening of NPT through faithful implementation of all its articles by all States Parties are vital for meeting common security challenges. Over the years, China has strictly implemented its nuclear disarmament obligations under the NPT.

China stands for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and the conclusion of relevant international legal instrument thereupon. China has pledged not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states under any circumstances. China signed and ratified relevant protocols to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin American and the Caribbean, South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty and African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty. China hopes parties concerned can reach an early agreement on the outstanding questions related to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and stands ready to sign the relevant protocols when they are open for signature. China calls upon all nuclear-weapon States to renounce the policy of nuclear deterrence based on the first use of nuclear weapons, to undertake not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national security policies. China has never taken part in nuclear arms race or deployed nuclear weapons abroad. China has made its own contributions to the international nuclear disarmament process by unilaterally undertaking the above-mentioned international obligations.

Mr. Chairman,

The key to facilitate the international arms control and disarmament process now lies in breaking the deadlock of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva. China supports the CD to reach an agreement on the programme of work based on the “Five Ambassadors’ Proposal”, so as to begin substantive work at an early date on nuclear disarmament, a treaty banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons, prevention of an arms race in outer space and negative security assurances. China calls upon parties concerned to demonstrate necessary political will.

China supports an early entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and is committed to ratifying the Treaty at an early date. China actively supports and participates in the preparatory work of the CTBT Organization.

The efforts in preventing the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space and advancing nuclear disarmament are mutually complementary. If weapon systems were deployed in outer space, global strategic balance and stability would be disrupted and an arms race including a nuclear one be provoked. Therefore, it is both necessary and pressing to prevent such a scenario from becoming reality. To that end, China, the Russian Federation, along with some other countries have all along stood for the negotiation of, in the CD, an international legal agreement on the prohibition of deployment of weapons in outer space, threat or use of force against outer space objects.

Mr. Chairman,

The Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference of the NPT outlined some principles and measures concerning nuclear disarmament. The reduction of nuclear weapons should be carried out in accordance with the principles of being effectively verifiable, irreversible and legally binding. Any nuclear disarmament measures, including various intermediate measures, should observe the guidelines of “promoting international strategic stability” and “undiminished security for all” and should be conducive to the promotion of international peace and security. These principles should continue to be reflected in the final document of this Review Conference.

The nuclear disarmament should be a just and reasonable process of gradual reduction towards a downward balance. States possessing the largest and most advanced nuclear arsenals bear special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament and should take the lead in drastically reducing their nuclear arsenals and bind their reduction commitment through legal instruments. All nuclear weapons reduced from their arsenals should be destroyed rather than stored.

China is in favor of the “intermediate measures” with regard to nuclear disarmament. China is ready to consider implementing relevant measures at appropriate time and under appropriate conditions in the due course of the nuclear disarmament process.

China is of the view that the following measures should be taken so as to promote nuclear disarmament, reduce the danger of nuclear war and diminish the role of nuclear weapons in the national security policy:

--The nuclear-weapon States should abandon the policies of nuclear deterrence based on the first use of nuclear weapons and lowering the threshold of using nuclear weapons;

--The nuclear-weapon States should honor their commitment not to target their nuclear weapons against any countries, nor to list any countries as targets of nuclear strike;

--All nuclear-weapon States should undertake that at any time or under any circumstances, not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones; and to conclude relevant international legal instruments thereupon;

--States should withdraw and return home all the nuclear weapons deployed outside their own territories;

--The policy and practice of “nuclear umbrella” and “nuclear sharing” should be abandoned;

--Not to develop easy-to-use low-yield nuclear weapons;

--The nuclear-weapon States should take all necessary steps to avoid accidental or unauthorized launches of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese Delegation has submitted the working paper on nuclear disarmament and reduction of the danger of nuclear war, as contained in NPT/CONF.2005/WP.2. We hope the ideas therein could be reflected in the report of this Committee and the final document of this Conference.

China believes that fostering a security concept based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation and creating a favorable international environment of cooperation and trust are conducive to the advancement of nuclear disarmament.

China will, as all along, join the international community in making unremitting efforts towards realizing the lofty goal of eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons and freeing the world from nuclear weapons.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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