Statement by H.E. Ambassador LI Baodong Head of the Chinese Delegation at the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
(New York, May 4, 2010)
At the outset, allow me to congratulate you, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, on your election as the President of this Review Conference. I am confident that with your rich diplomatic experience and wisdom, you will surely guide the Conference to a success. The Chinese delegation assures you of its full support and cooperation. I would also like to take this opportunity to express thanks to the chairmen of the three sessions of the Preparatory Committee, Ambassador Yukiya Amano from Japan, Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko from Ukraine and Ambassador Boniface Guwa Chidyausiku from Zimbabwe, for their excellent work.
The first decade of the 21st century has witnessed complex and profound changes in the international security situation. The pursuit of peace, development and cooperation has become the strong mainstream of our times. At the same time, mankind is also facing new security challenges. Traditional and non-traditional security threats are intertwined, regional conflicts and hotspot issues keep emerging, and threats of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction cannot be neglected.
New security situation requires a new security concept and a broader perspective. The security of all countries has never been as closely interconnected as it is today. Security is not a zero-sum game, and there is no isolated or absolute security. No country or group of countries can address all security issues on its own. And only when security for all is achieved can peace and security for individual countries be safeguarded.
During the past half year, the United Nations Security Council Summit on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament and the Nuclear Security Summit were held successively, which provided opportunities for world leaders to discuss ways to address nuclear issues that bear on international peace and security. During the summits, President Hu Jintao called on all countries to join hands to meet the challenges and to work together to build a safer world for all. China holds the view that the international community must foster a peaceful and stable international environment, resolve international disputes through peaceful means, increase the sense of security for all countries, and remove the root causes of conflict and instability. China believes that the international community must fully respect and accommodate the legitimate and reasonable security concerns of all countries, refrain from pursuing one’s own security at the expense of others, and ensure security for all through win-win cooperation. China also believes that the international community must build state-to-state relations of mutual understanding and mutual trust, and conduct dialogue and cooperation on an equal footing. The international community must adhere to multilateralism, consolidate the collective security system with the United Nations at its core and make the system more just and reasonable so that it can play a robust role in international security.
Over the last four decades, as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime, the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has played a major and irreplaceable role in preventing nuclear proliferation, advancing nuclear disarmament and promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Under new circumstances, to further enhance the universality, authority and effectiveness of the NPT is conducive to safeguarding and promoting international and regional peace and stability, which serves the common interests of all countries.
This Review Conference is held at an important historical moment. The goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons for the establishment of a world free of nuclear weapons is getting widely recognized, and the consensus for non-proliferation is building up in the international community. A growing number of countries have chosen to use nuclear energy for the development of renewable and clean energy.
The success of the Review Conference bears greatly on the prospect of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and the future of the international nuclear disarmament process. It also bears on the sustainable development of nuclear energy and of the economy, and on international peace and security. It is the shared responsibility of all states parties and the international community to make this Conference a success.
To steadily promote nuclear disarmament is an important step towards the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and requires unremitting efforts from all parties.
All nuclear-weapon states should fulfill in good faith obligations under article VI of the NPT, and publicly undertake not to seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons. We welcome the recent signing of the new bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. As countries with largest nuclear arsenals, the two should continue to make drastic reductions in their nuclear arsenals in a verifiable and irreversible manner, which will contribute to creating conditions for the ultimate realization of complete and thorough nuclear disarmament. The entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at an early date, and the early commencement of negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty are of great importance to advancing the nuclear disarmament process. The international community should continue to make even greater efforts to this end. Other nuclear-weapon states, when conditions are ripe, should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. The international community should develop, at an appropriate time, a viable, long-term plan composed of phased actions, including the conclusion of a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear-weapon states should earnestly reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their respective national security policy, unequivocally undertake not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, and unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones. We call on all nuclear-weapon states to conclude an international legal instrument in this regard at an early date.
Nuclear disarmament must follow the principles of maintaining global strategic stability and undiminished security for all. The development of missile defense systems that disrupt global strategic stability should be abandoned. Multilateral negotiation process to prevent the weaponization of and arms race in outer space should be vigorously promoted.
China has consistently stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. It is firmly committed to a nuclear strategy of self-defense and its nuclear weapons pose no threat to other countries. We have adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstances, and made the unequivocal commitment that we will unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones. This open, explicit and transparent nuclear policy makes China unique among all nuclear-weapon states. China has never deployed any nuclear weapons on foreign territory. China did not participated and will not participate in any form of nuclear arms race. China supports the early entry into force of the CTBT and the early commencement of the negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. China will continue to keep its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security, and continue to make efforts to advance the international nuclear disarmament process.
To effectively prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons is an essential condition for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and requires joint actions by all parties.
All countries should make efforts in fostering an international security environment of cooperation and trust, and respect the security concerns of each other. We should consolidate and enhance the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, strengthen the safeguards function of the International Atomic Energy Agency and promote the universality of comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocols. Practices of pragmatism and double standards must be discarded. All states should strictly fulfill their non-proliferation obligations, strengthen their export control system and facilitate international cooperation in this regard. All parties should pursue peaceful solution to regional nuclear issues through dialogues and negotiations.
China firmly opposes any form of nuclear proliferation. It has fulfilled its international non-proliferation obligations in a highly responsible and constructive manner, and has taken active part in international non-proliferation efforts. China has acceded to all relevant international treaties and mechanisms, put in place a complete legislative and regulatory framework of export control and taken effective steps to ensure its implementation. For the purpose of safeguarding the international non-proliferation regime and maintaining world and regional peace and security, China has been committed to promoting diplomatic solutions of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Iranian nuclear issue.
To vigorously promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy and related international cooperation is one of the major objectives of the NPT, and requires concrete measures by all parties.
Peaceful uses of nuclear energy are the legitimate rights of all states parties that should be fully respected and safeguarded. Development of nuclear energy bears great significance for many developing countries to address challenges such as energy crisis and climate change. The international community has the obligation to provide all necessary assistance to developing countries in their peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The IAEA should continue to play an active role in promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy and related international cooperation. Developed countries should actively assist developing countries in developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The international community should also explore, through extensive consultations, ways of promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy and of preventing nuclear proliferation.
China attaches great importance to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It has actively carried out cooperation and exchanges with relevant countries and the IAEA on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, under the prerequisite of strictly abiding by non-proliferation obligations stipulated in the NPT and within its own capability. It has made positive contributions to the cause of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the region and in the world at large.
Establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones is of great significance to promoting nuclear disarmament and preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons. Nuclear-weapon states should vigorously support efforts by states of relevant regions in establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones and undertake relevant obligations in this regard. China always respects and supports efforts by relevant countries and regions in establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones. We welcome the entry into force of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia. We call on parties concerned to work together to implement relevant UN General Assembly resolutions on the Middle East, especially the Resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, with a view to promoting the early establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other WMDs in the Middle East.
Facing the various challenges arising from the nuclear issues, all parties should stand at a new historic starting point. While we are fully confident of the future, we are equally aware of our heavy responsibilities. The Chinese delegation sincerely hopes that all parties could seize the major opportunity of this Review Conference and work together to advance in a balanced way the three objectives of the Treaty, i.e. nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We will work with all parties and make constructive efforts to this end.
Let me conclude by wishing the Review Conference a success.
Thank you, Mr. President.