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Chinese Government Statement on the Complete Prohibition and Total Destruction of Nuclear Weapons



On 25 July 1963, the United States, United Kingdom and the USSR concluded the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in Moscow (i.e.treaty banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere, outer space and underwater). In a statement issued on 31 July of the same year, the Chinese Government advocated a complete, thorough, total and resolute prohibition and destruction of nuclear weapons and proposed the convocation of an international conference of the heads of government to discuss this question.


The Statement elaborated the position of the Chinese Government on the comprehensive prohibition and total destruction of unclear weapons and advanced three proposals: (1) Countries of the world, whether they are nuclear or non-nuclear states, solemnly declare the complete, thorough, total and resolute prohibition and destruction of nuclear weapons. Specifically, this is to say they will not use, export, import, manufacture, test or stockpile nuclear weapons; destroy all the present nuclear weapons stockpile and their means of delivery and the dissolution of all current institutions in the world which are engaged in the research, testing and manufacturing of nuclear weapons. (2) To gradually implement the above obligations, the following measures must first of all be adopted: 1/ Dismantling of all military bases abroad, including nuclear weapons bases; withdrawal of all nuclear weapons and its means of delivery from abroad. 2/ Establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Asian and Pacific area which includes the United States, the USSR, China and Japan, a Central Europe nuclear-free Zones, an African nuclear-free Zone and a Latin American nuclear-free zone and the nuclear weapon states should undertake corresponding obligation towards every nuclear-free zone. 3/ Not to import or export in any form, nuclear weapons or the technical data needed for their manufacture. 4/ Cessation of all nuclear tests, including underground nuclear tests. (3) Convocation of an international conference of all the heads of government to discuss the question of the complete prohibition and total destruction of nuclear weapons and the adoption of the above-mentioned four measures for the gradual implementation of the complete prohibition and total destruction of nuclear weapons.


On 2 August 1963, Premier Zhou Enlai wrote a letter to all heads of governments and proposed the convening of an international conference of heads of government to discuss the question of the complete prohibition and total destruction of nuclear weapons in which he reiterated the principled position of china in the above-mentioned statement, and he called upon the governments of different countries to consider and respond to the proposal of the Chinese Government.


On 16 October 1964, China exploded an atomic bomb and successfully conducted nuclear test for the first time. On the same day, the Chinese Government issued a statement reaffirming the consistent stand of the Chinese Government on the complete prohibition and total destruction of nuclear weapons. The Chinese Government solemnly declared that China will never be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances and it once again earnestly proposed to the governments of all countries ?to convene a world conference of heads of states to discuss the complete prohibition and total destruction of nuclear weapons. And as a first step, the conference of heads of states should reach an agreement to the effect that the nuclear-weapon states and soon-to-be nuclear- weapon states should undertake not to use nuclear weapons, not to use nuclear weapons against the non-nuclear states and the nuclear-free zones and also not to use nuclear weapons between them.?
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