Key-note Speech by Mr. Zhang Yan,Director-General of the Dept. of Arms Control & Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chinaat the Opening Session of the 6th China-US Conference on Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation
June 5, 2006
Distinguished Ambassador Linton Brooks,
Acting Assistant Secretary, Mr. Frank Record,
Dr. William Potter,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In this pleasant season of early summer, we gather here in Washington D.C for the 6th China-US Conference on Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation. First of all, allow me, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and my colleagues present here, to express our warm congratulations on the convening of this conference.
Thanks to our joint efforts, China-US Conference on Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation has become an important platform for experts, scholars and officials from both countries to engage in dialogues and exchanges of views, and further promote mutual trust and cooperation. I hope this forum will become more successful so as to make greater contributions to advancing constructive and cooperative relations between our two countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The current international security situation, on the whole, remains stable. However, uncertain and unstable factors are apparently on the increase, and the international community is confronting a variety of threats and challenges. Among them, non-proliferation is a salient one. Being a significant factor bearing upon the international peace and security, non-proliferation has caused a great concern among and across the international community.
As permanent members of the UN Security Council, both China and the US shoulder the common responsibility for safeguarding international peace and security and promoting world development and prosperity. As far as non-proliferation is concerned, China and the US share the same objective and a wide range of common interests. In this connection, both countries are not only stakeholders but also constructive partners. We are delighted to witness the fruitful cooperation between China and the US in the field of non-proliferation in recent years.
Both China and the US are opposed to any form of WMD proliferation and committed to preserving and strengthening the international non-proliferation regimes, as well as promoting international non-proliferation goals.
Both sides have maintained close communication and coordination on the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and Iranian nuclear issue, and are committed to seeking proper solutions through diplomatic means.
Our two countries have worked together to achieve non-proliferation goals within the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) and other international frameworks. In the drafting and final adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and in the work of 1540 Committee, both sides have also conducted fruitful cooperation.
The bilateral consultations and dialogues between our two countries in the field of non-proliferation have been strengthened constantly. Last year, we had 3 rounds of dialogues, during which we had in-depth and frank exchange of views on issues of common concern, and the outcome turned out to be positive. In a few days, we will hold a new round of consultations, with aim to further enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation.
Our two countries have been smoothly conducting cooperation on export control, intelligence exchanges and law enforcement. Through such cooperation, both sides have benefited from each other's good experiences and practices.
In light of the current challenging situation in the field of non-proliferation, we should observe the following principles in order to further promote our bilateral cooperation on non-proliferation:
First, we should adhere to the principles of equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect, so as to provide a solid foundation for further cooperation.
Second, we should advocate resolving disputes in the field of non-proliferation through dialogues and consultations, forgoing non-constructive approaches such as imposing pressure or sanctions, so as to create a favorable atmosphere for further cooperation.
Third, non-proliferation should be conducive to promoting normal economic and trade cooperation, as well as hi-tech exchanges, so as to constantly bring new impetus to bilateral cooperation on non-proliferation.
Fourth, we should abide by international laws and existing international treaties, and discard double standards and discriminatory practices, so as to provide a legal guarantee for sound development of our bilateral cooperation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation constitute important pillar for maintaining international peace and security. Notwithstanding the difficulties and challenges in the field of multilateral arms control and disarmament, we should never be daunted or slack. In this new situation, China and the US should join our efforts to work actively and pragmatically for the advancement of the international arms control and disarmament process.
First, we should uphold multilateralism and give full play to the role of the UN and other relevant international bodies, and endeavor to create a favorable international security environment for sound development of multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.
Second, in the field of nuclear disarmament, the role of nuclear weapons in national security should be reduced and the nuclear deterrence policy based on the first use of nuclear weapons be abandoned. Nuclear disarmament should be conducted in an irreversible and verifiable manner. Efforts should be made to further promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and to reach an agreement as soon as possible on the program of work of the Conference on Disarmament to pave the way for starting at an early date the negotiation on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).
Third, we should faithfully implement obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and strive to strengthen the multilateral process of biological disarmament.
Fourth, great attention should be paid to new developments in outer space. An international legal instrument on prevention of weaponization of and an arms race in outer space should be concluded as soon as possible, with a view to preventing arms race from repeating itself in outer space.
Fifth, in the spirit of putting people's interests in the first place, we should continue to take earnest measures to address the humanitarian concerns in the field of conventional weapons, such as issues of small arms and light weapons and landmines.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China firmly adheres to the path of peaceful development and is a staunch force in safeguarding world peace. China needs a long-term peaceful environment for development, and has no intention to threaten any country, never will it seek such capabilities. China's development will pose no threat to any other country.
On the issue of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, China always endeavors to integrate the fundamental interests of its own people with the common interests of all countries and dedicates itself to fostering a favorable international and regional security environment, maintaining world peace and promoting common development.
China actively promotes complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China is the only country that commits unconditionally not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and not to use or threaten to use such weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has always exercised the utmost restraint on the scale and development of its nuclear weapons. China has never and will never take part in any nuclear arms race.
China faithfully implements its obligations under relevant international arms control treaties. China has dedicated itself to maintaining and enhancing the universality, effectiveness and authority of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), promoting the full and effective implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, supporting the multilateral process aimed at strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention, and participating relevant work in the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in a constructive manner.
China actively fulfills its international obligations of non-proliferation. China has joined all international treaties and relevant international organizations in the field of non-proliferation, and faithfully implements the UNSC Resolution 1540. China has played an active and constructive role in searching for a proper settlement of regional nuclear issues.
China attaches great importance to non-proliferation export control and constantly strengthens its law enforcement capacities. China has set up a comprehensive legal system for export control of nuclear, biological, chemical, missile and other sensitive items and technologies as well as all military products.
China actively develops relations with multinational export control mechanisms. China is willing to join the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and keeps contacts and dialogues with the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The recent successful visit by President Hu Jintao to the United States provides new momentum for further development of the constructive and cooperative relations between China and the US. Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation constitute an integral part of such relationship. Under new circumstances, China and the US are sharing increasing common interests in the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation and the areas for our cooperation is expanding. We are looking forward to working with the US side to further strengthen our exchanges and cooperation and to jointly respond to the threats and challenges.
In the coming two days, experts, scholars and officials from the two sides will discuss various issues, such as "proliferation challenges and responses", "US-China cooperation and ways to achieve non-proliferation objectives", "the six party talks and future security mechanisms", and "future of confidence building through strategic dialogues". Discussions on these topics are very necessary and timely. I hope all of you will present your views freely and thoroughly in the following thematic discussions, in order to achieve the purpose of promoting communication, enhancing understanding and expanding cooperation.
To conclude, I wish the conference a complete success.