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Statement by Ambassador Hu Xiaodi on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone
19 May 2005 at Main Committee II of the NPT Review Conference, New York

2005/05/20

Mr. Chairman,

The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones and the signature and ratification of the protocols of nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties by the nuclear-weapon States is one of the steps towards a world free of nuclear weapons. It is of great significance to pushing forward nuclear disarmament, preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons and promoting regional and world peace and security. It has also played an important role in extending negative security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States.

China always respects and supports efforts made by non-nuclear-weapon states to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones according to their regional situation and on the basis of voluntary arrangements among themselves. China holds that the guidelines on establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones adopted by the United Nations Disarmament Commission in 1999 should be faithfully observed. The nuclear-weapon states should support efforts by non-nuclear-weapon states to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones, respect the legal status of nuclear-weapon-free zones, and undertake corresponding obligations in a legally binding form.

China has unconditionally undertaken not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. We call upon other nuclear-weapon States to undertake such commitments as well.

Mr. Chairman,

China has signed and ratified the Antarctic Treaty and the relevant protocols to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and undertaken relevant obligations. China supports and welcomes the steps taken by the non-nuclear-weapon states concerned in recent years to establish new nuclear-weapon-free zones.

China supports efforts by the ASEAN countries to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone and has reached agreement with ASEAN on the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and its protocol. China hopes that ASEAN and the other four nuclear-weapon States can reach agreements on the unresolved issues related to the Treaty and its Protocol as soon as possible, so that the protocol can be open for signature at an early date.

China supports efforts by the five countries in Central Asia to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone. We welcome the agreement they reached on the text of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty and its protocol. China has no difficulty in the current draft, and hopes that the five Central Asian countries could reach agreement with other nuclear-weapon States concerned on outstanding issues at an early date.

China supports efforts to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and hopes that parties concerned realize this objective through consultations soon.

Mr. Chairman,

China will, as it always does, continue to support the efforts to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones and contribute to the lofty goal of nuclear-weapon-free world.

The Chinese Delegation has submitted a working paper on the issue of nuclear-weapon-free zone, as contained in the document NPT/CONF.2005/WP.4 and hopes the elements contained therein will be included in the report of Main Committee Ⅱand the final document of the Review Conference.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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