chinese delegation's speech at general debate in first session of preparatory committee for the 2010 NPT review conference
Statement by H.E. Mr. Zhang Yan, Director General of the Dept. of Arms Control and Disarmament of MFA
and Head of the Chinese Delegation at the General Debate
in the First Session of the Preparatory Committee
for the 2010 NPT Review Conference
May 2007, Vienna
Please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chairmanship of this session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The Chinese Delegation will fully support and cooperate with you in your work.
The Opening of the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference represents the beginning of a new round of the NPT review process. At this new start-point, while reflecting on the past and looking into the future, we feel relieved, but at the same time also worrisome and uneasy.
On the one hand, in spite of tremendous changes in international security situation and weaknesses of the NPT, the Treaty, as one of the important cornerstones of the international security regime, has played an irreplaceable role in safeguarding international peace and security since its entry into force 37 years ago. With persistent efforts by the international community, marked success has been achieved in strengthening the universality and effectiveness of the NPT and promoting the three goals of the Treaty, namely nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
On the other hand, the NPT is confronted with unprecedented challenges. The nuclear deterrence doctrine based on the first use of nuclear weapons still exists. New types of nuclear weapons are under active development. The development and deployment of missile defense systems have been accelerated. All these are negatively affecting the global strategic balance and stability. At the same time, the regional nuclear issues remain unresolved, the relationship between peaceful uses of nuclear energy and non-proliferation are getting more prominent and the danger of terrorists and non-state-actors' acquisition of nuclear weapons is increasing. The international community still has a long way to go to in its efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation.
In such circumstances, the direction that the NPT is developing not only has a direct bearing on the future and fate of the international non-proliferation regime, but also on our endeavor to build a peaceful, tranquil and prosperous world. To reduce the threats posed by nuclear weapons and achieve the ultimate goal of complete destruction of nuclear weapons, so as to enable our offspring to fully enjoy the benefit of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the international community should work in full cooperation to advance the three goals of the NPT in a comprehensive and balanced manner, with a view to making the Treaty play a greater role in safeguarding international peace and security and promoting the economic and social progress of all countries.
The new round of the NPT review process provides us with a precious opportunity to discuss effective strategies on strengthening the NPT. We should assess the current situation objectively and calmly, confront the existing problems and challenges, and explore viable strategies on strengthening the universality, authority and effectiveness of the NPT in a practical manner.
The risk of nuclear weapon proliferation poses severe threats to international peace and therefore has become a prominent issue of international security. Opposing proliferation of nuclear weapons has become a common understanding for the international community. Due to the complexity of the causes of nuclear proliferation a comprehensive approach is needed in addressing both the symptoms and root causes of the problem.
Firstly, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and other universally recognized norms of international laws should be followed, and efforts should be made to create an international environment featuring peace, stability and common security. To achieve this, the cold war mentality must be abandoned and a new security concept with such core features as mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation must be developed. Countries should respect each other's security interests and give up the policy of pursuing unilateral security, so as to create a harmonious international atmosphere of mutual trust, which will provide necessary conditions for eliminating the motivation of seeking nuclear weapon and achieving the goal of non-proliferation.
Secondly, regional and international non-proliferation issues should be addressed through dialogues and negotiations. Non-proliferation involves political, security, diplomatic, economic, legal and other factors. Exerting pressure, imposing sanction or resorting to force are not effective ways to resolve problems. On the contrary, it may escalate tension and stimulate further proliferation of nuclear weapons. Facts have proven that dialogues and negotiations are the best and most cost-effective means should be employed. As an authorized international body which bears special responsibility for international peace and security, the Security Council may play certain roles in dealing with major non-proliferation issues in certain circumstances. However it is not realistic to rely solely on it to resolve problems. Diplomatic efforts beyond the Security Council are equally important and more effective.
Thirdly, it has been a pressing task for the international community to strengthen the international non-proliferation regime. With the new development in the international situation and the progress of science and technology, weakness and deficiency of existing international non-proliferation regime are exposed. The international community should advance with the times and seek a fair, reasonable and effective way to enhance the nuclear non-proliferation regime through extensive consultations. Under current situation, it is worth our serious consideration on such measures as, beefing up IAEA's role in safeguard, promoting the universality of the Additional Protocol, and enhancing each country's non-proliferation and export control legislation and law enforcement.
The promotion of nuclear disarmament process and realization of a nuclear weapon free world is the common aspiration of the international community and also an important goal of the NPT. China maintains that the two countries possessing the largest nuclear arsenals bear special responsibility and should take the lead in nuclear disarmament. We notice that the two countries have taken certain measures in nuclear disarmament. We hope the agreement they have concluded will be earnestly implemented in a verifiable and irreversible manner, and further steps will be taken to drastically reduce their nuclear arsenals, thus creating conditions for other nuclear-weapon states to join in the nuclear disarmament process and for the final realization of the complete and thorough nuclear disarmament.
The "13 Practical Steps" agreed at the 2000 NPT Review Conference provides important guidance in promoting nuclear disarmament process. The international community should take full consideration of the current situation and effectively and faithfully implement these steps based on the guidelines of "promoting global strategic balance and stability" and "undiminished security for all".
The non-nuclear-weapon states should enjoy the Security Assurance provided by nuclear-weapon states. All nuclear-weapon states should undertake not to be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time or in any circumstances, not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones, and to conclude an international legally binding instrument at an early date.
China attaches great importance to the recent proposals submitted by parties concerned regarding the program of work of the Conference on Disarmament. It is our hope that all parties can reach consensus on it on the basis of broad consultation, so as to break the deadlock, create conditions for the commencement of negotiation as well as substantive work on FMCT, prevention of an arms race in outer space, nuclear disarmament, and security assurances.
Peaceful uses of nuclear energy are one of the important goals of NPT. It is also an inalienable and legitimate right of the non-nuclear-weapon states as well as an important guarantor for the universality, effectiveness and authority of the NPT. Each country is entitled to peaceful uses of nuclear energy as long as it earnestly fulfills its obligations under the NPT. We oppose using the non-proliferation as pretext to restrict and deprive non-nuclear-weapon states of the right of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Such practice goes against the purposes and objectives of the NPT and is inconsistent with the principle of balance between rights and obligations. Neither is it conducive to the attainment of the objective of non-proliferation. During the course of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, all countries should abide by their non-proliferation obligations. This will enhance mutual trust and create sound external environment for international cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
We believe that correct understanding and appropriate handling of the relation between non-proliferation and peaceful use can make important and practical contribution to the promotion of international nonproliferation process and to the properly settlement of Korean Peninsula and Iranian nuclear issues and other nuclear issues. Peaceful uses of nuclear energy and non-proliferation should not go against each other rather be complementary and mutually supportive. The international community should put heads together, and actively explore effective ways which not only can prevent nuclear proliferation but also ensure the right of peaceful use of nuclear energy based on equality. Moreover, it should be pointed out that to properly handle the relationship between non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy, double standards and selective practice should be discarded and the principle of impartiality and nondiscrimination should be observed.
As a State Party to the NPT, China has all along committed itself to enhancing the authority, effectiveness and universality of the Treaty. China has faithfully fulfilled its obligations, and has been actively promoting the three goals of the Treaty.
China attaches great importance to and actively participates in international efforts of non-proliferation, and has acceded to all relevant treaties and regimes. China has committed itself to multilateral and bilateral exchanges and cooperation on non-proliferation and is strictly implementing Resolution 1540 of the UN Security Council as well as other resolutions related to non-proliferation. We are also intensifying our efforts in the field of nuclear export control, and have established a whole set of laws and regulations consistent with international nuclear export control system. In November 2006 and January 2007, China amended the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Control of Nuclear Export and the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Control of Nuclear Dual-Use Items and Related Technologies respectively.
As a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, China has made tremendous efforts and great contributions to peaceful settlement of regional nuclear issues.
On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, China is committed to the realization of denuclearization of the peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia. China pursues peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogues and consultation. With the joint efforts of parties concerned, the Six-Party Talks has entered into the phase of Action for Action from that of Commitment for Commitment. China will cooperate with parties concerned to continuously push forward the Six-Party Talks process and work for the realization of the peninsula's denuclearization and the lasting peace and stability in the Northeast Asia.
On the Iranian nuclear issue, proceeding from maintaining international non-proliferation regime and promoting peace and stability in the Middle East, China opposes proliferation of nuclear weapons and advocates peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic efforts and negotiations. We believe that as long as Iran fulfills its non-proliferation obligations under the NPT, its right of peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be respected. At present, the door for negotiation is still open and the possibility of peaceful settlement still exists. The parties concerned should show flexibility and diplomatic wisdom in order to get the Iranian nuclear issue out of the vicious circle of escalation and embark on the right track of resolution through negotiations. China will, in line with the spirit of the Six-Countries foreign minister's statement, continue to promote peaceful dialogue and play a constructive role in this regard.
As a nuclear-weapon state, China has all along stood for complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and has been actively promoting international nuclear disarmament process. China unconditionally undertakes not to be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and in any circumstances, not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones. China honors its the commitment to moratorium on nuclear test, and supports the initiative of the non-nuclear-weapon states to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones. China opposes and will not take part in any kind of nuclear arms race. China will always be a firm supporter and active promotor to the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons.
China attaches great importance to and actively participates in international cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. China supports the development of new nuclear technologies and technical cooperation in the nuclear field oriented to developing countries. China pay its contributions to the IAEA Technical Cooperation Fund in full and on time. On the basis of equality and mutual benefit, China has carried out cooperation in peaceful uses of energy with many countries in various forms.
It is an important and noble mission for us to work for the realization of the three goals of the NPT, to advance the cause of peaceful development of mankind, and to build a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity. At the same time, this mission is also a test to our wisdom and political will.
A good beginning means half done. It is our hope that all states, in observing the principles of harmony, cooperation and mutual-benefit, will carry out fruitful work to lay a solid foundation for the success of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. China is ready to work with all states parties to achieve positive outcome for this session of the preparatory committee.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.