|Statement by Mr. Shen Jian, Counselor of the Chinese Delegation, at the Thematic Debate on Outer Space at the First Committee of the 68th Session of the UNGA|
The Chinese Government supports peaceful uses of outer space and is dedicated to relevant international exchange and cooperation. China has actively participated in the work of UN COPUOS, and the process of establishing relevant international rules in a constructive manner. The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization(APSCO), initiated by China, is taking a lead in regional exchange and cooperation in outer space. We encourage more Asia-Pacific countries to join the APSCO.
China successfully launched the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft last June, which successfully implemented rendezvous and docking experiment with Tiangong-1. China's manned space programme is entering a new stage of research and development of a space station. We will continue to take concrete measures to honor our commitment to peaceful utilization of outer space.
The lasting peace and security of outer space bears on the security, development and prosperity of all countries. While enjoying the benefit of peaceful uses of outer space, we need to properly handle the relationship between space security and space development. The equeal rights of all countries to peaceful uses of outer space should be ensured. At the same time, we should bear in mind that utilization of outer space is not a field with no boundary. All countries have the responsibility to ensure the eternal peace and sustainable development of outer space.
With increasing activities of the mankind's in utilization of outer space, the risks of the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space are on the rise, and space security is confronted with growing uncertainties. It is in the common interests of all countries to ensure peaceful uses of outer space and to prevent the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. In recent years, opposition to the weaponization of outer space and prevention of an arms race in outer space has become growing consensus of the international community. Successive sessions of the UNGA have overwhelmingly adopted resolutions on PAROS, calling for negotiation on a legally-binding international instrument on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in the Conference on Disarmament (CD).
China firmly opposes the weaponization of outer space and an arms race in outer space, and is dedicated to maintaining peace and security in outer space. As co-sponsor of the UNGA resolution on PAROS, China actively promotes implementation of the resolution in the CD. In 2008, China and Russia jointly submitted to the CD a draft ‘Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, and of the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects’ (PPWT). We hope that the CD will start substantive work on the basis of the draft PPWT as soon as possible. We welcome comments and suggestions from all parties, so as to make joint efforts to improve the draft.
China attaches importance to outer space Transparency and Confidence Building Measures (TCBMs). We believe that appropriate and viable TCBMs are conducive to enhancing mutual trust, reducing misperceptions, regulating outer space activities and maintaining outer space security. TCBMs can be complementary to the process on the prevention of the weaponization of outer space and an arms race in outer space. However, given their obvious limits, TCBMs can by no means substitute the negotiation of a new legally-binding arms control instrument on outer space.
China welcomes the consensus report by the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on TCBMs. The report is a balanced outcome of pragmatic and thorough discussions by all members of the GGE. In this connection, China encourages all countries to actively implement the proposed TCBMs on a voluntary basis, in order to consolidate the outcome of the GGE.
China appreciates the EU's efforts to promote a draft International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities(ICOC), and has participated in the discussion process in a constructive manner. Meanwhile, we believe that the ICOC, as a voluntary outer space TCBM, should focus on peaceful uses of outer space, and should by no means dilute the work on PAROS in the CD. The ICOC process should ensure broad participation on an equal and open basis, and fully accommodate substantive or procedural concerns of relevant parties, so as to conclude an international code of conduct acceptable to all.
Outer space is the common wealth of all mankind. China is ready to work closely with all parties to safeguard long-term peace and stability in outer space.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.