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Statement by Mr. Pang Sen, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament of MFA, Head of the Chinese Delegation at the UNGA High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament

2013/09/26

(New York, 26 September 2013)

Mr. Secretary-General
Mr. President
Distinguished Delegates,

First, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, welcome the convening of this High-Level Meeting on nuclear disarmament pursuant to UNGA Resolution 67/39. It demonstrates the high importance the United Nations have attached to nuclear disarmament. It is the strong determination of the UN and common aspiration of the international community to push forward the nuclear disarmament process. I would like also take this opportunity to commend President of the General Assembly Ambassador John W. Ashe for the tremendous work you have done for the convening of this High-Level Meeting.

Mr. President,

The international community has come out with proposals and initiatives for nuclear disarmament ever since the nuclear weapon was invented. The complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and the establishment of a nuclear-weapon free world is the common aspiration of the international community and an unswerving goal for China.

At present, the international security environment has been improved and all states are pursuing peace, development and cooperation. However, we have to be aware that the international security environment is still complicated, regional conflicts and hot issues are emerging, traditional and non-traditional security threats are intertwined. We still have a lot to do to achieve the goal of establishing a nuclear-weapon-free world. In this context, China believes the international community should work on the following aspects to promote the nuclear disarmament process:

First, we should adhere to the goal of promoting international nuclear disarmament process. Nuclear-weapon states should publicly undertake not to seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to make further substantial reductions in their nuclear arsenals in a verifiable, irreversible and legally-binding manner so as to create favorable conditions for the complete and thorough nuclear disarmament. When conditions are ripe, other nuclear-weapon states should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. In order to establish a nuclear-weapon-free world, 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. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty should enter into force at an early date and the Conference on Disarmament should commence its work on the negotiations on the Treaty Banning the Production of Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapons.

Second, we should uphold the principles of "maintaining global strategic balance and stability" and "undiminished security for all". Experience shows that when the international community maintains the above mentioned principles, it is possible fore international nuclear disarmament process to make sustainable progress. However, whenever we went against the above mentioned principles, the nuclear disarmament process would be brought to a standstill or even led to deterioration. Nuclear disarmament is closely linked to international strategic security situation. Creating favorable regional and international security environment is an important precondition for progess in nuclear disarmament process. The development of missile defense systems that disrupt global strategic balance and stability, as well as the advanced conventional precision striking weapon system should be abandoned. Efforts should be made to vigorously promote the multilateral negotiations on non-weaponization of outer space and the prevention of arms race in outer space.

Third, we should reduce the role of nuclear weapons in the national security strategy. Nuclear-weapon states should abandon the nuclear deterrence doctrine based on the first use of nuclear weapons and undertake unequivocally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and to conclude international legal instruments in this regard so as to reduce the risks of nuclear war. Countries that deploy nuclear weapons abroad should withdraw and repatriate all such weapons and abolish the policy and practices of nuclear umbrella and nuclear sharing.

Fourth, we should maintain the authority, universality and effectiveness of existing multilateral disarmament mechanisms. As the sole forum for multilateral disarmament negotiations, the role of CD is irreplaceable. We should deal with the core issues in CD's framework in a comprehensive and balanced way so as to guarantee the effectiveness and authority of the outcomes. The UNGA First Committee, Disarmament Commission and the NPT review mechanism are important components of international nuclear disarmament regime and we should cherish their values and roles. All issues related to nuclear weapons, including the use of nuclear weapons should be dealt with in the existing mechanism.

Mr. President,

As a nuclear weapon states, China has never evaded its due responsibilities in nuclear disarmament. China has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and has been actively promoting the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free world. China is firmly committed to a nuclear strategy of self-defense and has always exercised utmost restraint in the development of its nuclear weapons. It has kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security. China has never deployed nuclear weapons on foreign territory. China has never taken part and will not take part in any form of nuclear arms race. China has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance, and has made the unequivocal commitment that we will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China supports the purposes and objectives of the CTBT and has strictly observed its commitment of moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions.China has steadily advanced its preparation work for implementation of the CTBT pending it entry into force and is dedicated in promoting its entry-into-force. China supports the Conference on Disarmament, to commence the negotiation of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices at an early date, so as to conclude a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty.

China always respects and supports efforts of relevant countries and regions to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones and has signed and ratified all the relevant protocols to such Treaties which are open for signature. China is willing to sign the protocol to the Bangkok Treaty at an early date, respects the nuclear-weapon-free status of Mongolia, and is going to continue our discussions with relevant countries on Central Asia nuclear-weapon-free zone issue.

China has actively participated in P5 efforts for implementing the Final Document of the 8th NPT Review Conference and will host the next P5 Conference in April, 2014. The P5 Working Group on Glossary of Definitions for Key Nuclear Terms, aiming at enhancing understanding of P5 in nuclear field and facilitating exchanges, officially launched its work in June 2012 under China's chairmanship. Its first Experts' meeting was held in September, 2012 in Beijing. Today, experts from P5 are gathering in Beijing for the group's second meeting. We look forward for positive results.

Mr. President,

The complete and through nuclear disarmament and the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free world require our long and unremitting efforts. China is willing to work together with the international community, to continue our efforts in promoting international nuclear disarmament process and realizing the goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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