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Statement by Counsellor Mr. Li Yang of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Debate on Nuclear Disarmament at the First Committee of the 65th Session of the UNGA


Mr. Chairman,

Since the 64th Session of the UNGA First Committee, fresh progress has been made in the international nuclear disarmament process. The idea of complete prohibition and through destruction of nuclear weapons has struck deep roots in people's minds. The countries with the largest nuclear arsenals, the United States and the Russian Federation signed a new bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty. With wide attention from the international community, the 8th Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concluded successfully with substantial outcomes once again over one decade. China welcomes the above-mentioned positive developments.

At the same time, achieving the goal of complete prohibition and through destruction of nuclear weapons for a world free of nuclear weapons remains a daunting task. China believes that, taking the opportunity of implementing the outcomes of the 8th NPT Review Conference, the international community should embrace a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and create a favorable international security environment for nuclear disarmament. It’s important to preserve international peace and stability and increase security for all countries so as to create necessary conditions for nuclear disarmament. It is also imperative to consolidate and strengthen the hard-won momentum of nuclear disarmament by continuously pushing forward nuclear disarmament process and substantially reducing the threat of nuclear weapons. To this end, the international community should continue to make unremitting efforts in following areas:

-All nuclear-weapon states should fulfill in good faith obligations under article VI of the NPT, and publicly undertake not to seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to take the lead in making drastic reductions in their arsenals in a verifiable and irreversible manner, which will contribute to creating conditions for the ultimate realization of complete and thorough nuclear disarmament. We welcome the signing of the new bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation, and look forward to early ratifications of the treaty on both sides. The entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty at an early date, and the early commencement of negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty are of great importance to advancing the nuclear disarmament process. The international community should continue to make even greater efforts to this end. In addition, the international community should develop, at an appropriate time, a viable, long-term plan composed of phased actions, including the conclusion of a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons.

-Nuclear-weapon states should earnestly reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their respective national security policy, unequivocally undertake not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, and unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones. We call upon all nuclear-weapon states to conclude an international legal instrument in this regard at an early date.

-Nuclear disarmament must follow the principles of maintaining global strategic stability and undiminished security for all. The development of missile defense systems that disrupt global strategic stability should be abandoned. Multilateral negotiation process to prevent the weaponization of and arms race in outer space should be vigorously promoted.

-The international community should extend strong support to efforts made by countries of relevant regions in establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones. As requested by the 8th NPT Review Conference, a conference will be convened in 2012 on the establishment of a Middle East Zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. China hopes that all relevant parties will make joint efforts to achieve positive outcomes of this conference.

Mr. Chairman,

China has consistently stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. It is firmly committed to a nuclear strategy of self-defense. China has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstances, and made the unequivocal commitment that it will unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones. This open, explicit and transparent nuclear policy makes China unique among all nuclear-weapon states. China has never deployed any nuclear weapons on foreign territory. China did not participated and will not participate in any form of nuclear arms race. China will continue to keep its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security, China supports the early entry into force of the CTBT and the early commencement of the negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty at the Conference on Disarmament. China will continue to work with the international community to actively contribute to advancing the international nuclear disarmament process.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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