|Statement by Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong at the General Debate in 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on The Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons|
Photo by Deng Min/China News Service
First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chairmanship of the 2015 NPT Review Conference. I am confident that your rich experience and wisdom will guide this conference to achieve a fruitful outcome. The Chinese Delegation assures you of its full support and cooperation. I would also like to express my appreciation to Ambassador Peter Woolcott of Australia, Ambassador Cornel Feruta of Romania, and Ambassador Roman-Moray of Peru, chairs of the three sessions of the Preparatory Committee, for their outstanding work.
The 2015 Review Conference is of historical significance, as 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and the end of the World Anti-Fascist War, as well as the 45th Anniversary of the NPT entry into force and the 20th Anniversary of the indefinite extension of the treaty. As an important component of the post-world war international security system, the Treaty has stood the test of changing international landscape, and made important contribution to the endeavor of upholding international peace, security and stability.
Firstly, the Treaty, built on the consensus of international disarmament, has effectively forestalled the nuclear arms race, reduced the danger of nuclear war, and served as a strong political and legal foundation for the complete and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.
Secondly, the Treaty has established the basic principles for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and put in place a constantly developing and improving international nuclear non-proliferation regime. This regime, joined in and complied with by most of the countries in the world, has provided solid institutional support for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Thirdly, all states parties to the Treaty are entitled to the rights of peaceful use of nuclear energy. The Treaty, having put forward the principles and framework for promoting relevant international cooperation, makes it possible for the nuclear energy to benefit the people across the world.
The international security situation, on the whole, has been peaceful and stable. On the other hand, however, international and regional security landscape is changing rapidly. Uncertainties and destabilizing factors have remained prominent, regional hot-spot issues keep cropping up, and traditional and non-traditional security threats are intertwined. Hence, to promote global nuclear governance and further enhance the universality, authority and effectiveness of the Treaty are the call of the times and the shared responsibilities of all states parties. To this end, I would like to make the following proposals:
First, firmly uphold peace and stability. It is important to follow the trend of the times featuring peace and development, uphold universal security, abandon the outdated Cold War Mentality and zero-sum game, increase strategic mutual trust and cooperation, and reduce uncertainties and destabilizing factors in the security field. Only in this way will we be able to honor the solemn commitment made in the UN Charter, that is, to "save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind"; and to attain the purposes and goals of the Treaty, that is, to achieve comprehensive prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and bring the benefit of nuclear energy to the mankind.
Second, firmly promote equality and justice. Both nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states shoulder the responsibility of promoting global nuclear governance in a way that serves the common interests of all parties, and are entitled to the benefits of global nuclear governance. We must abandon the practice of double standards and fully respect the legitimate interests and concerns of all countries. We need to solve hot-spot issues peacefully through equal consultation and dialogue, stay committed to multilateralism and consensus building, and uphold the authority of multilateral mechanisms, including the NPT review process, UNGA first committee, Conference on Disarmament and U.N. Disarmament Commission.
Third, firmly pursue win-win cooperation. Nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy, as the three pillars of the Treaty, must be advanced in an all-round, balanced and sensible way, as they concern the security of all countries and the well-being of their people. In the Treaty review process, it is important to advocate a nuclear culture of win-win cooperation and build a community of common destiny featuring the extensive involvement of and mutual accommodation between governments, international and regional organizations and non-governmental groups. In addition, efforts should be made to enhance dialogue with non-states parties and encourage them to unconditionally accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states at an early date.
Now the Chinese people are working in unison under the strategic plans to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and to comprehensively deepen reform, advance law-based governance, and enforce strict Party conduct. Our objective is to realize the "two centenary" goals for China's development and to realize the Chinese dream of great national rejuvenation. To this end, China needs a peaceful and stable international environment. Since the beginning of last year, the overall security concept, the approach to nuclear security and other important visions put forward by President Xi Jinping have guided China's efforts in participating in international security affairs and advancing global nuclear governance.
China, as a staunch champion for nuclear disarmament process, stands for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and has faithfully fulfilled its nuclear disarmament obligations under the Treaty. Over the decades, China has pursued a nuclear strategy of self-defence and kept its nuclear arsenal at the minimum level required for its national security. China has neither deployed nuclear weapons in any other country nor taken part in any form of nuclear arms races. Among nuclear-weapon states, only China has pledged unconditionally not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states.
China firmly upholds nuclear non-proliferation regime. We oppose the proliferation of nuclear weapons in any form and work for the diplomatic resolution of regional hot-spot nuclear issues. China has been deeply involved in the negotiation process of the Iranian nuclear issue, actively offering its visions and contributing positive energy. We stay committed to realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and upholding peace and stability in both the Peninsula and Northeast Asia. China fully supports the international efforts to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones. The National People's Congress of China ratified the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia last week. We have resolved all pending issues of the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone with ASEAN countries and are ready to sign the Protocol at an early date. China supports the early convening of an international conference on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
China actively promotes the peaceful use of nuclear energy. While fully respecting and firmly upholding the legitimate rights of all countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, China has taken an active part in and promoted relevant international cooperation. We support the IAEA in playing an important role in this regard and call on developed countries to provide more assistance to developing ones. China also supports IAEA's central role in enhancing nuclear security and safety and assisting all countries to improve their nuclear security and safety capacity.
China has updated its last year National Report on the Implementation of the Treaty and submitted it to this Review Conference. The report expounds China's stance, propositions and efforts in nuclear field.
The Review Conference of the Treaty convenes every five years. What we have achieved is remarkable. Looking forward, we have full confidence in future, and are also keenly aware of the long way ahead. The Chinese delegation is ready to work together with other parties to do a thorough review of the implementation of the Treaty and identify the focus and priorities for the work in the next five years on the basis of the Action Plan of the Eighth Review Conference in 2010, so as to generate further political momentum for the Treaty.
To conclude, I wish this review conference a full success.
Thank you, Madam Chair.