Statement by Director-General Liu Jieyi at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues
(Osaka, 19 August 2003)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I appreciate the effort made by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asiaand the Pacific and the Japanese Government to sponsor this conference.The subject of "nuclear weapons – maintaining and enforcing non-proliferation norms" is of practical significance in the present circumstance.
The past decades witnessed the conclusion of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and other international treaties, the establishment of international non-proliferation mechanisms including the International Atomic Energy Agency, Zangger Committee and Nuclear Suppliers' Group, and the institution of national non-proliferation legislations and export controls which are similar across countries.The international norms aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation formed and developing on that basis have played an important role.Reflecting global consensus and establishing standards and methods, these norms have effectively contained proliferation of nuclear weapons and significantly contributed to international peace security and stability, thus winning extensive international support.
In recent years, the international nuclear non-proliferation norms have been further strengthened.The IAEA produced the Additional Protocol strengthening the safeguards system and is now amending the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials.The Zangger Committee and the NSG have amended their control lists.Signatories to the NPT are also exploring ways to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation measures.These will further enhance the effectiveness of the relevant international regime in the days of rapid scientific and technological advances and rising threat of nuclear terrorism.
On the whole, the international norms of nuclear non-proliferation have been constantly strengthened.The prospects are bright.But they are also confronted with some negative factors that have to be resolved with concerted international efforts.
First, the universality of these norms is yet to be realized.Some nuclear-capable countries are still not members to the NPT and the IAEA.There are still not many countries accepting the Additional Protocol.The prospect for the entry into force of the CTBT does not allow optimism yet.And recently there appeared a case of withdrawal from the NPT.
Second, technological advances have made it easier to produce nuclear weapons and acquire nuclear materials, brought down the threshold of nuclear proliferation and revealed the proliferation risks of some items that were not in the relevant control lists.
Third, with globalization and development of information technology, global allocation of resources and transboundary movement of goods have become easier, freer and faster.This has made it more difficult to prevent proliferation.
Fourth, as non-traditional threats like terrorism stand out, the potential destruction of nuclear proliferation is on the rise.The original international nuclear non-proliferation norms targeting states and traditional threats is no longer very competent in dealing with such new threats as nuclear terrorism.
Fifth, the unstable international security environment deepens the sense of insecurity of some countries.The tendency to resolve problems with force and preempt nuclear non-proliferation by military means may well turn out to produce just the opposite effect.When the war against weapons of mass destruction is in fact a war to change the regime of a country, self-protection by possessing nuclear weapons may possibly become a rather attractive option.
Sixth, to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons is not to sustain the difference between the nuclear-haves and nuclear-have-nots. To pursue a nuclear deterrence policy, list other countries as targets of nuclear strike, research into and develop new types of nuclear weapons and shorten the lead time to nuclear test are in no way conducive to strengthening the international non-proliferation norms.
Their important role and the very real challenges they face render it more practical and urgent to maintain and strengthen the non-proliferation norms.
First of all, a new security concept should be pursued and an international security environment favorable for nuclear non-proliferation should be established.To solve proliferation problems, it is fundamental to improve international security environment and increase the sense of security of all countries so as to eliminate the motive behind acquiring and developing nuclear weapons.To this end,a new security concept centering on mutual trust, mutual-benefit, equality and cooperationshould be fosteredin international relations.Efforts should be made towards security for all and disputes and proliferation issues should be settled through dialogue and cooperation.
Secondly, proliferation issues should be addressed under non-proliferation norms strengthened through international cooperation, and relationship between the means and effect should be properly handled.New challenges and features of non-proliferation propel states to identify and solve new problems in collaboration.Such methods as sanctions jeopardize cooperation between states and are therefore not desirable.Since the purpose of our non-proliferation effort is to enhance international security and stability, the measures we take should comply with the international law.Resort to military means and interception will cause many complex problem and negative results.
Thirdly, export controls over nuclear and nuclear dual-use items should be strengthened so as to prevent proliferation from its sources.As technological development has added difficulty to our effort in this regard, it is necessary for nuclear-weapon- and nuclear-capable-states to adopt additional measures in relevant legislation and law enforcement so as to effectively strengthen the export control of relevant items and technologies.
Fourthly, nuclear-weapon-states should carry out in good faith their obligation in nuclear disarmament and downgrade the role of nuclear weapons. The nuclear disarmament process is intertwined with strengthening nuclear non-proliferation norms. Nuclear-weapon-states should promote an early entry into force of the CTBT, maintain moratoriumonnuclear testing, refrain from developing new nuclear weapons, reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, avoid target other states for nuclear strike and promote international nuclear disarmament.All these will help fundamentally strengthen international non-proliferation efforts.
Fifthly, the relation between non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be properly addressed.Non-proliferation effort should not hamper peaceful uses of nuclear energy.Cooperation in peaceful uses within the framework of non-proliferation norms promotes economic and social development and thus has a role to play in increasing the universality of non-proliferation norms and preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons.Needless to say, cooperation in this area should be placed under strict IAEA safeguards.
Sixthly, existing non-proliferation norms should be improved in the light of changing international situation and the need to combat terrorism. We supports the relevant action plans initiated by the Director General of IAEA in March 2002, and wish to see early achievement of results by multilateral efforts in enhancing nuclear safety and physical protection of nuclear materials.Countries should also explore how to further strengthen safeguards and other non-proliferation measures.
Now, let me touch upon efforts made by Chinain maintaining and enforcing international non-proliferation norms.
Preventing nuclear proliferation bears on international security and stability.In this regard, Chinaand the rest of the international community have shared interest. China has acceded to almost all international treaties, organizations and mechanisms relating to nuclear non-proliferation, promulgated the Regulations on Nuclear Export Controland the Regulations on the Control of Nuclear Dual-Use Items and Related Technologies Export, completely adopted the export control lists of "Zangger Committee" and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and effectively controlling the export of nuclear and nuclear dual-use items.Chinahas sound cooperation with the IAEA andhas voluntarily placed its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.In early 2002 Chinacompleted the national legal procedures for the entry into force of the Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, the first among the five nuclear-weapon states to do so. Our legal system and administration mechanisms are totally in line with established international law and practice.We are actively working with the legislature to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
In the biological, chemical and missile fields, Chinahas also issued export control regulations and control lists, thus all exports of related items and technologies being regulated virtually by law. These export control lists are by and large identical with those of the Australian Group and MTCR. Chinaadopts control list, the end-use and end-user guarantee system, licensing system, and "catch-all" principle. The relevant regulations contain administrative and criminal law clauses and any breaches will be penalized by the relevant authorities accordingly.Like other countries, we in China are faced with new problems stemming from the new situation, which requires new counter-measures. We are ready to enhance our exchanges and cooperation with other countries to reinforce the international nuclear non-proliferation efforts.