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Statement by Wang Xinxia concerning the Japanese proposal on the scale of assessments

The Chinese delegation wishes to make the following comments on the Japanese proposal:

Since the Japanese proposal is targeted or, to put it specifically, it is targeted at China and other permanent members of the Security Council, China is compelled to take this opportunity to make its position clear. The Chinese government is opposed to the Japanese proposal for setting a floor for the assessments of the permanent members of the Security Council.

It has to be pointed out that the proposal of setting a floor for the permanent members of the Security Council is nothing new. It started with the proposal to set a floor for the permanent members of the Security Council in the scale for PKOs and this time it has resurfaced in the context of the scale for the regular budget. Either way, the purpose remains the same. That is to treat these countries as a separate category or to make a distinction between them and the rest of the member states.

In this connection, we are of the view:

1. The permanent members of the Security Council have the rights and responsibilities that are given to them by the Charter of the United Nations. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China understands very well its responsibilities for world peace and security and has faithfully honored its financial obligations to the United Nations. If the permanent members of the Security Council should have special responsibilities, those special responsibilities have been reflected unmistakably in the scale for PKOs, in which we have absorbed assessments in addition to our own due.

2. Time and again, Japan has advocated the concept of "responsibility to pay". Its main idea is to establish a link between rights and assessed contributions. According to this logic, rights are measurable by money. Does this mean, in other words, that the more money one pays, the more rights one enjoys? We disagree with this concept because it is a flagrant challenge to the principle of sovereign equality.

3. The concept of "responsibility to pay" is also motivated by the attempt to link the permanent membership on the Security Council with assessed contributions. On this occasion, I have to point out that China's permanent seat in the Security Council was not bought with money. A review of the history will tell the whole story. This will prove that the permanent membership on the Security Council is not something that money can buy.

4. I wish to reiterate that the Chinese government holds that the principle of capacity to pay is the most fundamental principle accepted by all the member states in determining the scale of assessments. The existing scale methodology is the result of negotiations conducted among member states on the basis of this principle. As China enjoys sustained economic growth over the recent years, China's assessments have increased continuously. China's assessments for the three-year period of 2004-2006 increased by 35% over the previous three-year period and are expected to increase further for the next period. China is ready to consider and accept anything that is in line with the principle of capacity to pay. Any proposition or practice that deviates from this basic principle is not going to be accepted by the large majority of member states.

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