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Statement of the Chinese Delegation on the Report of the Legal Subcommittee during the 49th Session of COPUOS


2006/06/21

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese Delegation would like to offer its congratulations to the Legal Subcommitttee of COPUOS on the success of its 45th session and finds its report encouraging. The excellent work undertaken by its Chairman, Ambassador Gonzalez and Chairmen of various working groups is still fresh in our memory.

Now I would like to make some comments on several elements in the report of the Legal Subcommittee.

Mr. Chairman,

With regard to the definition and delimitation of outer space, we agree to further discussions and consultations on the issue in the context of maintaining permanent security of outer space and promoting its peaceful uses. We hold the view that definition and delimitation of outer space should not hamper efforts of countries to use outer space for peaceful purposes. Due to the complexities involved, it is hard to reach agreement on this issue in the near future, so we agree to continued consultations among countries on the matter.

Mr. Chairman,

Regarding the draft protocol on matters specific to space assets to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, this delegation believes that the protocol is a positive attempt to deal with the issue of commercialization of space activities, but great precaution should be taken when introducing the guarantee security regime into international space law through the protocol. Above all, the assumption of real international liability by a government for space commercial activities of non-governmental entities or private enterprises, including liability for compensation to damages, and related issues should be addressed. How to interlink the guarantee security regime based on private laws with international public space laws is a matter for further assessment.

As for the relationship between the space asset protocol and the outer space law system, we are of the view that, in principle, the basic principles of existing space law should take precedence.

Mr. Chairman,

On the item of status and application of the 5 UN treaties on outer space, we appreciate the efforts made by the Working Group to promote their wider application, endorse the decisions of the Legal Subcommittee and support the extension of the mandate of the Working Group. We will take an active part in the Working Group and will assist it in carrying through its workplan for the next stage.

Mr. Chairman,

Concerning practice of states and international organizations in registering space objects, the workplan of the Working Group, which is advisable and pragmatic in our view, will facilitate adherence to and application of the Registration Convention and harmonize registration practices of states. The Chinese Delegation supports the work of the WG. In accordance with the provisions of Article 2 of the Registration Convention, the Chinese government set up a space objects launching state registry in 2001, which is hosted and maintained by China National Space Administration. The Chinese Government has frequently submitted information on space objects launched by China to the Secretary General pursuant to Article 4 of the Convention, and has updated space objects related data

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