Director-General Liu Jieyi of the Arms Control and Disarmament Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China Receives Interview of Beijing Review
At the end of the year, Liu Jieyi, Director-General of the Arms Control and Disarmament Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China received an interview of Beijing Review reporter Ding Ying. The content of the interview is as follows:
Q: What in your opinion are the major threats in today's international security arena? How should the international community cope with them?
A: Since the beginning of the new century, the international security situation has remained stable on the whole, but uncertain and unpredictable factors are obviously on the rise.
To sum up, the following three major threats still linger on the international security arena:
First, non-traditional security threats including terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), cross-border crimes and epidemics tend to rise.
Second, disputes and conflicts over ethnical, religious, territorial and other issues remain frequent and disrespect for international laws keep occurring. Traditional security problems still threaten the international peace, stability and development.
Third, development problems including hunger, poverty and social injustice have become major factors influencing regional and even global security and stability.
The international community should join hands to cope with the complicated international security situation.
First, the mentality of seeking security advantages with military forces should be refrained, the principles of international laws including the UN Charter should be followed and a new security concept with mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation at its core should be developed.
Second, multilateral cooperation should be strengthened, and the leading role of the UN in safeguarding international peace and security should be maintained.
Third, the international treaty regime of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation should be resolutely protected, the multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process should be constantly promoted and the international non-proliferation regime should be improved.
Fourth, tangible and effective measures should be taken to help low-income developing countries to rejuvenate their economy and get rid of poverty and jointly address the issues of cross-border crimes and epidemics.
Q: Could you please brief us on China's major efforts this year in the areas of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation r? What are the priorities next year?
A: We made great efforts in non-proliferation. With the aim of strengthening the construction of our export control system, we instituted an inter-agency coordination mechanism to deal with emergent export-control-related cases. Law enforcement was further tightened in this field with the publication of some cases involving penalties on illegal exports. We have been steadily expanding our relations with the relevant multilateral export control regimes. We joined the Nuclear Suppliers' Group and applied for membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime. We conducted dialogue with the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement. In addition, we were active in participating in international exchanges and cooperation in the field of non-proliferation law enforcement. We held consultations on non-proliferation and export control with the United States, the United Kingdom and the EU. The Sino-EU Joint Declaration on Non-proliferation and Arms Control was issued. We participated constructively in the consultations of the UN Security Council Resolution on non-proliferation and were among the earliest countries to submit a national report on its implementation to the Security Council.
We continued the consultations and dialogues with the United States, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan and the Republic of Korea, etc. on security and disarmament and constantly improved mutual trust and understanding.
We took an active part in multilateral arms control affairs and played a constructive role in international arms control conferences and meetings, such as including the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, the Third Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention, and in UN discussions on missiles, small arms and other related issues.
We faithfully implemented our obligations defined in international arms control treaties, continued to proceed with the preparations for the implementation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War and the Firearms Protocol.. We strictly fulfill all the obligations identified in the Chemical Weapons Convention, receiving 14 inspections by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. We submitted the national reports on implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in line with their requirements.
We also held a number of the International conferences including the Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Cooperation Workshop, China-US Seminar on Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation and the Second Regional Meeting of National Authorities of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, further demonstrating China's image as a country seeking peace, development and cooperation.
Looking ahead the arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation efforts next year, we will strictly follow existing laws to push forward non-proliferation. We will bring into full play the Inter-agency Coordination Mechanism on Emergent Export-Control-Related Cases, strengthen law enforcement and further expand our relations with multilateral export control regimes. We will participate in multilateral arms control process with a more open approach and continue to earnestly fulfill our obligations under international arms control treaties. Dialogues and cooperation with other countries in the fields of security and arms control will also be constantly enhanced.
Q: The seriousness of regional nuclear issues and the exposure of nuclear smuggling network have drawn attention of the international community. How do you think the international nuclear non-proliferation regime should be strengthened so as to make it adapt to the new developments?
A: To prevent proliferation of WMDs and their means of delivery comply with the interest of the international community. Under new circumstances, the nuclear non-proliferation regime can be strengthened in the following aspects:
First, the role of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime should remain unchanged. While fulfilling the Treaty obligations, countries should strive to promote its universality.
Second, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should play a leading role in nuclear non-proliferation, and more countries should be stimulated to sign and ratify the Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement.
Third, the role of the nuclear export control regime should continue to be strengthened as to plug the loopholes in international nuclear non-proliferation. The control lists and guidelines of the Zangger Committee and the Nuclear Suppliers' Group should be amended accordingly so as to enhance their effectiveness.
Fourth, the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 should be implemented strictly, and the problem of illicit trafficking of WMDs and their means of delivery and related materials by non-state actors should be tackled appropriately.
Fifth, multilateral efforts in preventing nuclear proliferation should be promoted. Regional nuclear proliferation problems should be addressed appropriately through dialogue and cooperation which should involve information exchange, national legislation and law enforcement. The effectiveness of export control systems by various countries should be strengthened.
Sixth, the relations between nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be handled in a balanced way. The rights to using nuclear energy peacefully under strict safeguarding and monitoring of all countries should be respected and efforts should be made to seek the broadest possible understanding and support of the international community.
Q: This year, China joined the Nuclear Suppliers' Group and expressed its willingness to join the Missile Technology Control Regime. Could you elaborate on China's considerations behind these moves? What other steps else will China take in the field of non-proliferation and export control?
A: To strictly and effectively manage the materials, equipment and technologies which could be used to develop and produce WMDs and their means of delivery is a major aspect of China's efforts to fulfill its international non-proliferation obligations, which also complies with the interest of the international community.
In the principle of rule of law, China has strengthened the development of -proliferation legislation. We have formulated and enforced a series of laws and regulations, which fosters a comprehensive export control legal system, which completely comes in line with general international practice.
We attach great importance to and take an active part in the international non-proliferation cooperation and exchanges. While formulating the export control regulations, we make full references to the l experiences and practices of multilateral regimes including the Nuclear Suppliers' Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime, and our related export control principles and measures have been basically integrated into those regimes. Therefore, China joined the Nuclear Suppliers' Group and expressed its willingness to join the Missile Technology Control Regime. These are logical steps, demonstrating China's firm political will on the international non-proliferation.
In the future, the Chinese government will continue to improve the non-proliferation and export control systems, strengthen law enforcement and ensure effective implementation of above laws and regulations. We will strengthen the outreach programs to raise the awareness of businesses, encourage them to build their in-house self-disciplinary export control mechanisms. We will actively participate in the work of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group and try to join the Missile Technology Control Regime as early as possible. We will continue to conduct various dialogue and exchanges with related countries and multilateral mechanisms such as the Australian Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.
Q: What is your expectation on the settlement of the nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsular and in Iran?
A: To solve the nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsular and in Iran through political and diplomatic means is conductive to regional and even world peace and stability and in line with the interest of the international community, which has become a common understanding of the international community.
Currently, these issues remain on the track of peaceful resolution. Despite of twists and turns, the way forward is promising.
China always maintains that the Korean Peninsula should be nuclear weapon free and hopes that the nuclear issue could be resolved peacefully and peace and stability on the peninsula could be maintained. Three rounds of six-party talks and two rounds of working group meetings have led to a series of results. The task at hand is to convene the fourth round of talks at an early date and make substantive progress.
Given the complexity of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, it is unrealistic to solve it overnight. So long as all parties concerned adhere to the six-party talk process and keep committed to increasing mutual trust and solving differences appropriately, the goal of denuclearization of and peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula will be achieved.
The Iranian nuclear issue should be addressed properly through negotiations. We welcome the agreement reached between the three EU countries and Iran and hope to see positive headways in their consultations on a long-term solution. China will, together with other members of the international community, continue to play a constructive role in facilitating a proper resolution of the issue within the framework of the IAEA at an early date.
Q: What is your opinion on the current state of the multilateral arms control? How do you think the international community should push forward the multilateral arms control process?
A: Currently most multilateral arms control and disarmament treaties are being implemented steadily. Multilateral efforts aimed at strengthening the universality and effectiveness of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention have paid off. Humanitarian arms control issues have made positive results. Upon conclusion of the Firearms Protocol and the Explosive Remnants of War Protocol, negotiation has been initiated on an International Instrument on Identification and Tracing of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons.
However, there do exist difficulties and challenges in the multilateral arms control field. The Conference on Disarmament has failed to conduct substantive work for 8 consecutive years and United Nations Disarmament Commission has also encountered difficulty in its work.
Under new circumstances, the international community should firmly uphold multilateralism and advance the multilateral arms control process.
First, as a major component of the global security order, the international arms control system should be maintained effectively. The international community should work together to constantly improving the effectiveness and universality of existing arms control treaties.
Second, the Conference on Disarmament should be revitalized. Different concerns should be taken into full consideration to develop a complete and balanced work plan and start work as soon as possible on nuclear disarmament, negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, prevention of an arms race in outer space and security assurances for non-nuclear weapon states. All parties should discuss various new non-proliferation initiatives in a constructive attitude.
Third, related international disarmament mechanisms including the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly should be reformed appropriately so as to promote multilateralism and the sound development of arms control.
Q: Following the successful launch of Shenzhou V, China is planning to launch Shenzhou VI spacecraft next year. Does it mean any change in China stance on preventing an arms race in outer space?
A: China always stands for the peaceful use of outer space and opposes the weaponization of and arms race n outer space. Therefore, we propose the international community take effective preventive measures, including negotiating and concluding relevant international legal instruments, to prohibit actual deployment of weapons in outer space and the use of forces against objectives in outer space so as to ensure that the outer space is used completely for peaceful purposes, which is conducive to maintaining peace and security in outer space and protecting the rights and interests of all countries, including those with high stakes, to peacefully use the outer space.
Our real purpose to advocate preventing weaponization of and an arms race in outer space is to increase the capacity of mankind to develop and utilize outer space in a favorable environment on the basis of maintaining peace and security there. We support other countries' efforts to use outer space for peaceful purposes.
In recent years, China has made some progresses in the peaceful use of outer space. In particular, the successful launch of "Shenzhou V" manned spacecraft last year is a major part of the international efforts to explore outer space. We will continue to be committed to utilizing the outer space for the benefit of mankind.
Q: China is not a party to the Ottawa Convention, but you led the Chinese observer delegation to the Nairobi Summit of a Mine Free World. Could you please elaborate China's position on the issue of landmine?
A: China always supports and actively participates in the humanitarian efforts of the international community to solve the issue of indiscriminate injuries to civilians caused by landmines.
Since acceding to the Amended Landmine Protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), China has been strictly fulfilling its obligations and trying its best to prevent civilian casualties caused by landmines. In recent years, having basically eliminated landmine problems along its border, China has in recent years contributed to mine actions in around 10 countries in Asia and Africa by providing de-mining assistance in various forms.
Although China is not a party to the Ottawa Convention, it endorses its purpose and objectives. The Chinese observer delegation participated in the Nairobi Summit of a Mine Free World – the First Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention.
China stands ready to strengthen cooperation with the international community and continue to actively participate in the international community's de-mining endeavors.