The Chemical Weapons Convention
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC) was opened for signature on January 13, 1993 and entered into force on April 29, 1997. The CWC, with 188 State Parties up to June, 2011, is the first international arms control treaty that bans completely an entire category of weapons of mass destruction and requires their thorough destruction under a stringent verification regime. It is of great significance to the maintenance of international peace and security.
China has all along stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of all weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. China actively participated in the negotiation of the CWC and ratified it on April 25, 1997 as one of the original States Parties. China supports the purposes and objectives of the CWC. It has faithfully fulfilled its obligations under the CWC and supported the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
1. National Authority
The Chinese Government established the National Implementation Office (National Authority) of the CWC, which is mandated to deal with daily implementation issues nation-wide. China has also set up implementation bodies at the provincial and municipal levels, thus forming an effective nationwide implementation network.
The Chinese Government promulgated successively and put into effect the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Administration of Controlled Chemicals (1995), the List of Controlled Chemicals by Category (1996), the Rules of Implementation for the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Controlled Chemicals (1997), and the List of Items Newly Included in Category Three of Controlled Chemicals (1998). These documents have provided a legal framework for the implementation of the CWC and established comprehensive regime of effective administration of the production, trading, use, stockpiling, import and export of scheduled chemicals. Moreover, the Chinese Government promulgated and implemented the Measures on Export Control of Certain Chemicals and Related Equipment and Technologies and Attached Export Control List in 2002, which has further improved China's export control of certain chemicals and dual-use chemical equipment and technologies. In order to prevent and prosecute acts that use substances like toxic chemicals to carry out terrorist activities, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China passed, in December 2001, Amendment No.3 to the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, which explicitly criminalizes acts that illegally manufacture, transport, stockpile, or use toxic/poisonous substances to endanger public safety, and has specified corresponding penalties.
3. Declaration, Inspection and Cooperation with OPCW
Pursuant to the provisions of the CWC, China has submitted its various declarations to OPCW on time and successfully received 260 on-site inspections by OPCW (As of June 2011). China has actively participated in various activities of the OPCW. China and the OPCW jointly organized two International Assistance and Protection Courses, two workshops for inspectors and three regional seminars in Beijing on the implementation of the CWC. China and the OPCW jointly held the Second Regional Meeting of National Authorities in Asia in Beijing, and the First Regional Workshop for States Parties in Asia on Assistance and Protection against Chemical Weapons.
4. Application of the CWC in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan
In 2004, the Chemical Weapons (Convention) Ordinance of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region came into effect. Hong Kong SAR submits through the Central Government its initial and annual declarations to the OPCW. The preparations for the CWC application to Macao Special Administrative Region are now in progress. The Chinese Government will, under the One-China Principle, actively seek a proper solution of the CWC application in the Taiwan Region.