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Statement by Mr. ZHANG Jun'an, Counselor of the Chinese Delegation, on Nuclear disarmament at the Thematic Debate at the First Committee of the 68th Session of the UNGA

2013/10/23

 

Mr. Chairman,

The international nuclear disarmament process is moving forward. The goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and establishment of a world free of nuclear weapons is widely recognized by the international community. The UNGA High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament and the 8th CTBT Article 14 Conference have been successfully held. The international community is steadily implementing the outcome of the NPT review conference.

At the same time, we also recognize that there are still many uncertainties and negative factors in the field of nuclear disarmament. There is still a long way to go to further promote the nuclear disarmament process and to realize the ultimate goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and establishment of a world free of nuclear weapons. In this regard China believes that the following efforts should be made to advance the international nuclear disarmament process:

Firstly, we should adhere to the goal of promoting international nuclear disarmament process. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to take the lead in making drastic and substantive reductions in their nuclear weapons. When conditions are ripe, other nuclear-weapon states should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. In order to establish a nuclear-weapon-free world, the international community should develop, at an appreciate time, a viable, long-term plan composed of phased actions, including the conclusion of a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons.

Secondly, we should uphold the principles of "maintaining global strategic balance and stability" and "undiminished security for all". Nuclear disarmament is closely linked to international security situation. Creating favorable regional and international security environment is an important precondition for progress in nuclear disarmament process.

Thirdly, we should reduce the role of nuclear weapons in the national security strategy. Nuclear-weapon states should abandon the nuclear deterrence doctrine based on the first use of nuclear weapons and undertake unequivocally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, so as to reduce the risks of nuclear weapons.

Fourthly, we should maintain the authority, universality and effectiveness of existing multilateral disarmament mechanisms. The Conference on Disarmament, UNGA First Committee, Disarmament Commission and the NPT review mechanism are important components of international nuclear disarmament regime. Issues related to nuclear disarmament should be dealt with in the existing mechanism.

Mr. Chairman,

China has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and is firmly committed to a nuclear strategy of self-defence. China has been actively promoting the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free world. China has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance, and has made the unequivocal commitment that we will unconditionally not use and threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. This open, unequivocal and transparent policy is unique amongst the nuclear weapon states. China has never deployed nuclear weapons on foreign territory. China has never taken part and will not take part in any form of nuclear arms race. China has kept and will keep its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security.

China supports the purposes and objectives of CTBT and has strictly observed its commitment of moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions. China has steadily advanced its preparation work for implementation of the CTBT pending its entry into force and its early entry-into-force. China supports the Conference on Disarmament, to commence the negotiation of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices at an early date, so as to conclude a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty.

China always respects and supports efforts of relevant countries to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at and based upon the actual situation of the region. China has signed and ratified all the relevant protocols to such Treaties which are open for signature. China supports the establishment of nuclear weapon free zones in the South East Asia and Central Asia, and supports the consultations and engagement among relevant countries on outstanding issues to the protocols. China appreciates the efforts made by Mr. Laajava, the facilitator of the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapon and other weapons of mass destruction, and other relevant parties for promoting the convening of the Conference. And we look forward to its early convening. In September 2012, China, together with other nuclear weapon states, signed a joint statement to reconfirm the nuclear nuclear-weapon-free status of Mongolia, and the security assurances we have committed accordingly.

China is dedicated to international nuclear disarmament efforts and has voted for the resolutions such as 'Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world', 'Convention on the prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons', 'Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons' and 'Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems' at the 67th UNGA. On 26-27 September this year, China held the second experts' meeting of the P5 Working Group on Glossary of Definitions for Key Nuclear Terms successfully in Beijing,which has made positive progress. China will host a P5 conference in April next year in Beijing to exchange in-depth views on important issues including the implementation of the outcome of the NPT Review Conference through cooperation.

China is ready to work together with the international community, to continue our efforts in promoting international nuclear disarmament process and realizing the goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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