Speech at the Press Conference of the State Council Information Office
Director-General of the Arms Control Department of the Foreign Ministry
1 September 2005
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very happy to attend this press conference.
Today, the State Council Information Office published the White Paper on China's Endeavors for Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation which introduces China's policy and position in this field and its contribution to the advancement of international efforts in this regard. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the victories of the Chinese people's war against Japanese aggression and the world anti-Fascist war as well as the founding of the United Nations. Countries across the world and the UN have held or will hold grand commemorative activities for it. It is of special significance to issue the White Paper at this important juncture.
China has always pursued an independent foreign policy of peace and remains committed to a path of peaceful development. In the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, China follows a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, with a view to creating a sound international and regional security environment, maintaining world peace and promoting common development.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a nuclear weapon state, China has always taken practical steps to push forward the international cause of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.
China has all along stood for complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. On the very first day it came into possession of nuclear weapons, the Chinese Government solemnly declared that at no time and under no circumstances would it be the first to use nuclear weapons. China also undertook unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has persistently exercised utmost restraint on the issue of nuclear weapons and has conducted the smallest number of nuclear tests among nuclear weapon states. China has never joined and will not join any nuclear arms race.
China has always supported the international efforts of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, joining almost all international treaties and relevant international organizations in this regard on nuclear, biological, chemical and conventional weapons and fulfilling in good faith the relevant international obligations and responsibilities. China has taken an active part in all major international activities in the field of arms control and disarmament, putting forward many reasonable and feasible proposals and making its own contribution to the international arms control and disarmament process.
China firmly opposes the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery and has actively participated in the international non-proliferation efforts. China has gradually established and improved its export control mechanism and a complete set of laws and regulations on export control of nuclear, biological, chemical, missile and other sensitive items, technologies as well as all military products, thereby completing the transition from administrative management to legal management. In the mean time, China continuously strengthened the law enforcement on export control. China has played a constructive role in regional nuclear issues and made active efforts toward dialogue and reconciliation for the proper settlements of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Iranian nuclear issue through political and diplomatic means.
China pursues a national defense policy of a defensive nature, maintaining its military forces at minimum size and scale for safeguarding national security. Since the mid-1980s, China has on many occasions taken voluntary and unilateral disarmament initiatives to downsize its military forces, cutting it by nearly two million up to now. China has also put its defense expenditure under strict control. China's defense spending has always been at a low level in absolute and per capita terms and also in terms of percentages to the GDP and state fiscal expenditure.
China upholds the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the principle of building friendship and partnership with neighboring countries, attaches importance to and works to promote regional cooperation in disarmament and confidence-building measures, and has reached a series of agreements and common understanding with the relevant neighboring countries, thus making significant contributions to a better regional security environment, regional stability and stronger common development.
China has been active, earnest and responsible in its policy stand and practice in the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. China is always a reliable force for maintaining world peace and promoting common development of mankind.
To further advance the international cause of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation is not only a necessity in maintaining world peace, security and stability but also the common aspiration of the people. For the healthy development in this cause, China believes that the international community should make concentrated efforts in the following aspects:
First, to observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and other universally recognized norms governing international relations, establish a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and strive to foster a peaceful and stable international security environment;
Second, to ensure the rights of all countries to equal participation in the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation affairs and push forward the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process on the basis of undiminished security for all countries;
Third, to settle disputes in the field of international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation by political and diplomatic means within the framework of international law;
Fourth, while advancing the efforts for international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, the legitimate rights and interests of all countries to peaceful use of science and technology should be guaranteed;
Fifth, to maintain, strengthen and improve the existing international legal system on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation and give full play to the role of the UN and other multilateral agencies.
China stands ready to work with other countries in the world to promote the international cause of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation and create a world of lasting peace, prosperity and harmony.
Now, I wish to take up your questions.