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Statement by H.E. Mr. Fu Cong,Head of Chinese Delegation,Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs of the People's Republic of China at the General Debate in the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference

2017-05-02 16:50


Mr Chairman,

First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chairmanship of this session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference. I am confident that your rich experience and wisdom will guide this conference to a fruitful outcome. The Chinese Delegation assures you of its full support and cooperation.

This meeting formally launches the 10th review process of the NPT. Looking back, from its entry into force in 1970 and indefinite extention in 1995 onwards, the Treaty has gone through winds and rains for almost half a century, and turned to be one of international legal instrument with near universal ratification. Over the years, the Treaty has played a crucial role in containing the trend of nuclear weapon proliferation, reducing the risks of nuclear war, and promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

At a new historical starting point, the international arena is undergoing unprecedented developments. Complexity and uncertainty has become the new reality of international security. While recognizing the historical contribution of the Treaty, we also see new challenges laying ahead, with the international consensus of upholding the treaty under test.

First, the international security situation remains worrisome. Hotspot issues keep propping up, conflicts and even wars occur now and then. Non-traditional security threats continue to spread. Cold War mentality and power politics remain persistent. In pursuit of absolute security, some countries keep building and deploying global anti-missile system at the expense of strategic balance and stability. Under this background, how to effectively take forward nuclear disarmament is a pressing issue facing us in this review cycle of the NPT.

Second, the nuclear non-proliferation situation remains severe. Several countries still linger outside the Treaty system. The establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is long delayed. Regional hotspot issues are still outstanding. The supply and demand of sensitive nuclear materials in a certain country are still seriously unbalanced. The double standards and utilitarianism approaches adopted by some countries are jeopardizing the authority of the Treaty and weakening the nuclear non-proliferation system.

Third, the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is facing multiple challenges. The development of nuclear power is on the rise while the impact of Fukushima nuclear accident wears on. The nuclear terrorism threats allow of no neglect. Global nuclear security and safety need to be improved. The tendency of "value non-proliferation while neglecting peaceful uses" exists. The peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the developing countries are still faced with restraints in terms of technical, financial and human resources.

Mr. Chairman,

As the cornerstone of the existing international arms control and nonproliferation regime,the Treaty's role and function is indispensable and irreplaceable. Under current circumstances, this review cycle should learn from the successes and setbacks in past implementation, and focus on facilitating State Parties to bridge divergences, strengthen unity and confidence,take joint actions to promote the three pillars in a balanced manner and enhance its authority, universality and effectiveness.

First, to pursue a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept. In his address at the United Nations Office at Geneva in January, Chinese President Xi Jingping raised Chinese proposition of "building a community of shared future for mankind, and achieving shared and win-win development", and advocated to build up a world of lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity through dialogue and consultation, joint efforts and win-win cooperation. Towards this end, we calls on all Parties to make further efforts to eradicate the roots of conflicts and unrest, fully respect and accommodate other's legitimate security concerns, abandon the Cold War mentality and foster international relations featuring mutual understanding and trust, so as to create a strategic security environment favorable to the Treaty goal.

Secondly, to take forward nuclear disarmament in a rational and pragmatic manner. The complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons in the end is in the interest of all mankind, in this regard, we fully understand the aspirations and expectations of all non-nuclear-weapon States, and support the achievement of eventual complete and thorough nuclear disarmament. Currently, the key task is to find a practical and feasible path to promote the nuclear disarmament process. Taking into account current strategic security environment, we should revitalize the existing multilateral disarmament mechanism, make full use of the Conference on Disarmament and other platforms, adhere to the principle of consensus, guarantee full,equal and effective participation of all stakeholders and seek international consensus as widely as possible. Meanwhile, we should take a step-by-step approach. Countries possessing the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to shoulder the special and primary responsibilities. Pending the realization of complete and thorough nuclear disarmament, nuclear-weapon States should undertake practical intermediate steps, including committing themselves to no first use of nuclear weapons, undertaking unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and conclude relevant international legal instrument accordingly.

Thirdly, to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime by addressing both the symptoms and the root causes. One of the root causes of the on-going hot-spot issues is that the security concerns of different countries are not equally treated and respected. The international community should abandon double standards and address these issues through political and diplomatic means. In order to ease the tension over the Korean Peninsula and pull relevant parties back to the negotiating table at an early date, China has put forward the "dual-track approach" and "suspension for suspension" proposal, on which we urge the concerned parties to make serious considerations. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an international agreement concluded through long tough negotiations by the P5+1 and Iran, and has been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. All parties should continue to faithfully fulfill their obligations and jointly support and implement the JCPOA. The establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, as stipulated in relevant NPT resolutions, will be conducive to regional peace and stability. We encourage relevant parties to undertake flexible and pragmatic measures to break the stalemate and convene relevant international conference at an early date. Countries that have not yet joined the NPT should do so as non-nuclear-weapon States as soon as possible.

Forthly, to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy on the principle of fairness and efficiency. If nuclear weapon is damned as the Sword of Damocles hanging over mankind, then nuclear energy should be seen as the fire brought by Prometheus to mankind, which provides an important solution to energy security and climate change. Non-proliferation efforts should not undermine developing countries' legitimate rights in relation with the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. State Parties should give their continuous support to the central role played by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in this regard. Assistance and support to developing countries should be increased. Lessons from the Fukushima nuclear accident should be drawn to help improve global nuclear safety. Capacity building on nuclear security should be strengthened to combat nuclear terrorism.

Mr. Chairman,

China has consistently supported the nuclear disarmament process, firmly upholded the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, and vigorously promoted the utilization of nuclear power. China actively participated in the P5's endeavor to implement the review outcomes of the Treaty, and is ready to continue its leadership to the P5 Working Group on Key Nuclear Terms. China has made steady progress regarding preparation to the domestic implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).Last December, the Lanzhou Radionuclide Station has been certified by the Preparatory Commission of CTBTO, making it the first certified CTBT monitoring station in China. China firmly opposes the proliferation of nuclear weapon in any form, and actively engages in the political settlement processes of regional hot-spot issues such as the Iranian nuclear issue and the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. China vigorously participates in regional and global nuclear security cooperation, and will actively implement the Five Proposals including "building nuclear security capacity network" proclaimed by President Xi at the Forth Nuclear Security Summit.

Mr. Chairman,

Well begun is half done. We hope the First Session of the Preparatory Committee could get a good start-off for the review cycle, conclude a feasible roadmap on institutional arrangements, lay a good basis for States Parties to constructively advance the review work. China will stay in touch and work together with all States Parties to this end.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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