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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Hu Xiaodi on ABM Treaty at the First Committee of the 55th General Assembly

2000/10/18

Mr. Chairman:

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the representative of the Russian Federation for his introduction of the Draft Resolution "Preservation of and Compliance with the ABM Treaty " (A/C.1/55/L2). I would now make a few comments on matters related to this issue.

First, at a time when the ABM Treaty is at risk of being weakened or even repealed, it is an urgent task of the international community to preserve and comply with the ABM Treaty. The ABM treaty which was concluded in 1972 constitutes the cornerstone of the global strategic balance and international security, and the basis of further reduction of offensive strategic weapons and prevention of mass destruction weapon proliferation. However, a country concerned, in seeking unilateral absolute security and military superiority, is pushing hard for its NMD program and has repeatedly called for a revision of the ABM Treaty. It even threatened to withdraw from it if no agreement is reached to its revision.

Weakening or overturning the ABM Treaty, coupled with the development and deployment of the NMD system, will inevitably lead to serious consequences, upsetting the global strategic balance and stability, compromising mutual trust among the states, impeding multilateral as well as bilateral arms control and disarmament processes and jeopardizing international non-proliferation efforts. It will also lead to the weaponization of outer space and trigger a new round of arms race.

Last year, this committee as well as the UN General Assembly adopted by an overwhelming majority the Resolution on "Preservation of and Compliance with the ABM Treaty" co-sponsored by the Russian Federation, Belarus and China. Its adoption is a clear testimony to the political will of the international community to oppose the deployment of NMD and revision of the ABM Treaty. It has shown that the overwhelming majority of the countries in the world want to maintain the global strategic balance and stability. They do not want to see an erosion of the positive results achieved since the end of the cold war by the international community in the areas of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, nor do they wish to see that NMD becomes a negative factor jeopardizing trust and impeding cooperation.

Second, Mr. Chairman, since the beginning of this year, there have been some important developments with regard to the missile defense issue. Various countries have become increasingly aware of the harmful effects of the NMD development. More and more countries have expressed their anxiety and concern at this. With the relaxation of tension in certain regions, the excuse that NMD is developed to counter the missile threat of the so-called "states of concern" is even more untenable.

In the meantime, we have also noted that there are still some different views on the ABM Treaty and NMD. Meanwhile the said country has spread all kinds of seemingly plausible but actually false views in an attempt to confuse the issue.