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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador FU Cong of China on the UNGA First Committee Resolution L.26 Entitled "United action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons"

2015/11/02
 

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation will vote against Resolution L.26, entitled “United action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”, tabled by Japan. I would like to explain China’s positions on the following issues.

First is the issue of moratorium on the production of the fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices as contained inOP15. China always holds that such a moratorium can neither be clearly defined nor effectively verified, hence has no practical significance, as it cannot guarantee that the fissile material produced will not be used for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Second is the issue of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Needless to say, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were historical tragedies. Wedeeply sympathize with the people of the two cities for their sufferings. However, we feel that it is highly inappropriate to highlight those events in isolation.China consistently stands for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and we fully understand some countries’ concerns over the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. But we do not want to see the issue of humanitarianism taken advantage of by a certain country, and used as a tool to obscure and distort history.

This year marks the 70thanniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the founding of the United Nations. On this special occasion of historic significance, the international communityshould be acutely aware that cognition of history is a critical issue that has a direct bearing on whether the outcome of the World War II shall be upheld,and on whether the international order established thereafter shall be maintained. In this regard, I’d like to emphasize the following points:

Firstly, we must have a correct understanding of the cause and theeffect. As history cannot be hypothesized, we will never know whether the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could have been avoided. However, everyone knows that this tragedy was a direct result of the aggressive war launched by Japan, and the culprits were the Japanese militarists. If we deviate from this basic understanding, we may be confusedas to who were the victims and who were the aggressors.

Secondly, historical events must not be interpreted out of context. History should be treated as an indivisible whole. Looking at a specific event in isolation will inevitably distort the whole truth of the history. During the war that took place over 70 years ago, China alone suffered 35 million casualties in the hands of the Japanese aggressors, many of whom were the victims of the Japanese massive use of chemical and biological weapons in violation of international law, including the international humanitarian law. Their sufferings were no less than the sufferings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Focusing only on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while forgetting about the havoc that war wreaked on the other countries, is an affront to the memories of the more than 100 million victims of World War II, and will also do great damage to the cause of international humanitarianism.

Thirdly, selective amnesia should be avoided. On one hand, Japan persistently asks the international community to keep in mind the history of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On the other hand, Japan has repeatedly refused to admit its horrendous war crimes, including the Nanjing Massacre, in defiance of irrefutable evidence. After the documents related to the Nanjing Massacre were included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register for Documentary Heritage, Japan not only audaciously accused China of politicizing history, but also threatened to stop funding for UNESCO. Japan also went all out to block efforts to add documents about Comfort Women into the above-mentioned Register. Japan insists that China should not focus on the unfortunate history. But it wants the whole world to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is blatant hypocrisy and double-standard.

Fourthly, the right and the wrong must not be confused. Not long ago, the Chinese government held a solemn gathering in Beijing in Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against the Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. As victim of the Japanese aggression, it’s only normal and righteous for China to hold such an event. However, to our great surprise, the Japanese government went so far as to publicly criticize UNSG Mr. BAN Ki-Moon for attending this event. If Japan thinks that it was not correct for the victim to commemorate, what right doesJapan as the aggressor have to insist on writing into UN resolutions and documents invitations tothe leaders and youth of all countries to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Fifthly, a correct criterion should be established. The leaders of Germanyknelt down more than once in front of the Holocaust Memorials,winning Germanythe respect of people all over the world. In contrast, the Japanese leaders keep paying homage toJapan's convicted Class-A World War II war criminals in the Yasukuni Shrine. The Japanese Prime Minister even said that “In Japan, the postwar generations now exceed eighty percent of its population. We must not let our future generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologize”. What is the logic behind such statement?

Sixthly, tragic history must not be repeated. When the whole world is reflecting on the history of World War II, what is Japan doing? In his speeches, the Japanese leader spoke voluminously about why Japan went to war, but showed little sign of repentance. At the same time, in contraventionto its Peace Constitution and in defiance of both domestic and international opposition, the Japanese government forced through the parliament new security bills that may pavethe way for Japanto use force overseas. While talking about humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, Japan is still enjoying the benefit of nuclear umbrella and accumulating huge amount of weapon-grade fissile material which far exceeds its legitimate needs. Is this positive pacifism or resuscitated militarism?

Mr. Chairman,

China always underlines that we should draw lessons from history and look forward into the future. The purpose of remembering history is not to perpetuate hatred, but to prevent the repeat of the historical tragedies. We fully understand the Japanese people’s wish to be forgiven by the people of the neighboring countries. But that depends on Japan’s attitude towards history, rather than on how fast the international community forgets about the history. Forgiveness can only be based on the correct cognition of the history. To conceal and distort history, or even to play victim, is definitely not the way out. A nation that does not have the courage to face up to its own history is in no position to take on greater international responsibilities.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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