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Statement by Ms. Yang Jia of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Discussion on Outer Space at the First Committee of the 71th Session of the UNGA

2016/10/19

Mr.Chairman,

As a result of rapid development of space technology and the growing number of space faring nations, space technology is increasingly used for the benefit of mankind. At the same time, the international community is now facing two major outstanding issues in outer space. Firstly, the space environment is increasingly deteriorating in the face of evident risks caused by orbital congestion and space debris. Secondly, as the strategic importance of the outer space becomes more pronounced, the ever more obvious trend of space weaponization is having an increasing impact on space security, posing a grave challenge of global magnitude to the international community.

To ensure the peaceful exploration and to prevent weaponization of and the subsequent arms race in space, not only serves the common interests of all countries, but also is the fundamental rights of all countries.The international community always attaches great importance to the issue of outer space security. Since 1994, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted resolutions on PAROS by overwhelming majority, requesting the Conference on Disarmament to negotiate a multilateral space arms control treaty.

Unequivocally opposing space weaponization and arms race in space, China has been an active participant in the multilateral arms control process on space security. China and Russia jointly proposed a PPWT draft in 2008 and put forward an updated version in June of 2014. we have recently put forward a feedback working paper to the CD to address concerns raised by relevant countries. We call on all countries to work for more convergence and start multilateral negotiations on an arms control treaty with a view to maintaining space safety, security and sustainability.

The NFP resolution draft cosponsored by China,Russia and some other countries has been adopted by a large majority of countries in the First Committee in2014 and 2015, reflecting the common aspiration of the international community for the prevention of weaponization in space. We hope more countries will extend their support to this resolution this year.

Mr.Chairman,

China is a co-sponsor of the traditional UNGA Resolution on space TCBMs and an active participant in the work of UNGGE on TCBMs. China is of the view that appropriate and feasible TCBMs could contribute to mutual confidence, reduce misconceptions and regulate space activities. They can complement the process of prevention of weaponization of outer space and PAROS. However, TCBMs can not substitute the negotiation of a legally-binding arms control treaty.

In 2013, the UN GGE on TCBMs has concluded its work with a balanced report, which could serve as an important basis for future work on TCBMs. Meanwhile, given that countries are at different stage of developing space capability, their concerns and their readiness to embrace certain TCBMs vary widely. Therefore, China believes that formulation and implementation of international TCBMs in outer space should be conducted on an open and equal footing discussion, abide by the principle of appropriateness and feasibility , and with gaps of development taken into account, to ensure the smooth and effective implementation of these measures.

China has been committed to the peaceful use of outer space and actively engaged in international exchanges and cooperation to this end. China has conducted satellite launching for more than 10 countries, and has participated actively in international cooperation under the framework of UNCOPUOS and that of APSCO. Last year,China, Laos, Russia and the US co-hosted the third ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop on Space Security in Beijing.

China will continue to work with the international community and make its due contribution to space security and sustainability.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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