Statement by Her Excellency Ambassador Xue Hanqin, Permanent Representative of China to the OPCW at the 11th Session of the Conference of the States Parties
(The Hague, Netherlands, 5 December 2006)
First of all, please allow me to express my delegation’s warm congratulations on your election to the Presidency of this Session of the Conference. I am confident that with your rich diplomatic experience and outstanding skills, you will guide our Session to a full success. The Chinese Delegation pledges its full cooperation to you and to all other Delegations. I’d also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the excellent job done by your predecessor His Excellency Ambassador José Antonio Arróspide of Peru.
I wish to thank the Director-General for his comprehensive opening statement.
The Chinese Delegation would like to associate itself with the statement made by the Ambassador of Cuba, His Excellency Mr. Oscar de los Reyes Ramos, on behalf of the Non-aligned Movement States Parties and China. The Chemical Weapons Convention is the first international instrument on complete prohibition and total destruction of a whole category of weapons of mass destruction under a stringent verification regime. It has played a crucial role in banning and destroying chemical weapons and in preventing proliferation of such weapons. We are pleased to note that in nearly 10 years since the entry into force of the Convention, remarkable achievements have been made in promoting its universality. By now, its membership has increased to 181. Member States have also made significant progress in adopting implementation measures. China supports the efforts to further promote and implement the Plans of Action on Universality and on National Implementation Measures, with a view to bringing even more countries into the Convention and helping the countries concerned overcome their difficulties so that they can adopt the national implementation measures as required by the Convention at the earliest possible date.
Early and total destruction of chemical weapons is a key element and fundamental goal of the Convention. While progress has been made in the destruction of chemical weapons, some possessor States are falling behind the destruction schedule envisaged in the Convention. China believes that the destruction of all chemical weapons within the timeframe laid down by the Convention is a matter that bears on the authority and credibility of the Convention. The possessor States should, in full compliance with the Convention, speed up their destruction process and make sure that all their chemical weapons are destroyed within the final deadline required by the Convention. China supports a greater role of the Technical Secretariat and the Executive Council in overseeing the destruction of chemical weapons.
Industrial verification is a major component of the Convention, and an important instrument to prevent CW proliferation. Since the Convention entered into force, industrial verification resources have always been allocated according to the principles of hierarchy of risks inherent in the Convention and balanced geographical distribution. Such an approach has drawn support from States Parties, and resulted in more than 1,200 successful inspections. China believes that any improvement in this regard should be within the framework of the above-mentioned principles and take into full consideration of views expressed by States Parties, on the basis of drawing on the experience gained by the Technical Secretariat in the verification activities.
International cooperation in the field of chemical industry is one of the pillars of the Convention. Effective international cooperation can play a positive role in promoting regular trade among States Parties and enhancing universality of the Convention. We encourage States Parties to give importance to the issue by increasing financial and technological input and to make effective and feasible programmes to promote exchanges and substantive cooperation.
China attaches great importance to the Second Review Conference. In our view, the Second Review Conference should have a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Convention in the last ten years since its entry into force, focusing particularly on the five years since the First Review Conference. The Conference should give priority to resolving the most outstanding issues at current stage, so as to truly contribute to the comprehensive and effective implementation of all the provisions of the Convention. China will take an active and constructive part in the working group for the preparation of the Second Review Conference and contribute to the success of the Second Review Conference.
Next year marks the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention. We believe that it is a good opportunity to present to the public the successful experience of the OPCW and its contribution to the preservation of international peace and security, and to raise the public awareness of this organization in the international community. To this end, States Parties and the Technical Secretariat need to coordinate closely and make good plans. China will actively participate in the commemorative events.
China has always been committed to the object and purpose of the Convention, and honoured its obligations under the Convention. China has stipulated and implemented relevant laws, rules and regulations for implementing the Convention; it has established National Authority and local agencies which form an effective management and control system covering the entire country. We have submitted all declarations in a timely and accurate manner. We have so far successfully received more than 120 inspections, with 23 inspections of various types in 2006 alone. Attaching great importance to non-proliferation, China has adopted an export control regime that is basically consistent with general international practices, and our law enforcement in this regard has been stringent and effective.
The Chinese Government is actively promoting the implementation of the Convention in the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions and the Taiwan region. Currently, implementation work in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is going on smoothly. Preparations are also underway in an orderly manner for implementation in the Macao Special Administrative Region. The Chinese Government will, on the premise of “One China” principle, continue to work actively for a pragmatic solution to the issue of implementation in the Taiwan region.
Japanese abandoned chemical weapons in China have continued to pose a serious threat not only to the life of the Chinese people, but also to ecological environment. Despite some positive progress in the disposal of Japanese ACWs thanks to the cooperation between the two countries, the substantive destruction process is yet to start. China urges the Japanese side to intensify its effort and increase its input in this regard, so as to bring about early and complete destruction of Japanese ACWs in China. China will, as always, provide appropriate cooperation. China appreciates the positive role played by the Technical Secretariat in this issue. As the destruction process enters into a more substantive stage, China welcomes the Technical Secretariat to play a more intensive and comprehensive role in the work related to destruction plan and verification.
For the international community, the Convention carries with it an ideal of a world free of chemical weapons. Facing common difficulties and challenges, China is ready to join efforts with other parties to contribute to the early realization of the object and purpose of the Convention, and to the creation of a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. Finally, I wish the Conference a full success.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.