|Statement by Counsellor Mr. Li Yang from the Chinese Delegation on the Issue of Security Assurances at the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference|
New York, 7 May 2009
Security assurance to non-nuclear-weapon states is an important issue in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Proper solution of the issue is of vital importance to the promotion of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
Security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states will help enhance their sense of security and reduce incentives to seek nuclear weapons. It is not only conducive to preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and safeguarding international nuclear non-proliferation regime, but also helpful for creating a sound international and regional security environment for nuclear disarmament. It should be pointed out that security assurances is not a unilateral advantage offered by nuclear-weapon states to non-nuclear-weapon states, but rather a contribution to non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. It is completely reasonable and proper for non-nuclear-weapon states to request to be free from the threat of nuclear weapons and to define such assurances in the form of a legally binding instrument.
China believes that the fundamental solution to the issue of security assurances is the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. Before this goal is achieved, all nuclear-weapon states should undertake not to be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally. An international legally binding instrument in this respect should be concluded at an early date.
Ever since the first day when China came into possession of nuclear weapons, China solemnly declared that it would never be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and would not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally. We have always honored this commitment. China supports the Conference on Disarmament to start substantive work on the issue at an early date. Meanwhile, China is open and ready to give positive considerations to any other proposals or measures that are conducive to advancing the security assurances issue.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.