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Statement by Ambassador HU Xiaodi, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the 3rd Session of the Preparatory Committee of the Second Review Conference of the States Parties to the CCW (September 24, 2001, Geneva)
2004/04/16
Mr. President-designate,

At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to express our appreciation of your efforts in conducting the work of the Preparatory Committee to the Second CCW Review Conference.  At the same time, our gratitude also goes to the four Friends of Chair for their unremitting endeavor in presiding over the consultations of the proposals.  I wish to assure you and the Friends of Chair of my delegation's cooperation and support to your work.

Mr. President,

China is among the first to sign and ratify the CCW, which fully embodies the great importance the Chinese Government attaches to the humanitarian concerns caused by war.  In this spirit, China participated, in a constructive manner, in the work of the First Review Conference as well as the first and second session of the PrepCom to the Second Review Conference of the CCW.

Since last year, five proposals have been put forward.  We appreciate the great attention paid and the efforts made by those countries in addressing the humanitarian concerns.  Here, I would like to reiterate our position on these proposals.

SCOPE

In line with humanitarianism, we have no objection to expanding the scope of application of the Convention and its annexed protocols.  As for the modality, it is our hope that we can work out a simple and feasible way acceptable to all parties.  At the meantime, however, in view of the possibility that there might be different situations in future protocols, any solution must have a "safeguard".

COMPLIANCE MEASURES

Regarding the issue of compliance mechanism, no matter adding a "Compliance Annex" to the Amended Protocol II, or establishing a "Compliance Mechanism" with the framework of the Convention, any solution must take into account the features of the Convention and each protocol and must be feasible in reality.  Nor can it, in any way, conflict with the existing protocols.  In fact, the Amended Protocol II has already provided with relatively realistic compliance measures.

ERW

As for the issue of explosive remnants of war (ERW), the parties concerned have put forward their preliminary ideas and had an extensive exchange of views on them during the past two PrepComs and the informal meeting in August.  As our discussion on ERW deepens, we have found it a rather complicated issue that cannot be resolved overnight.  As a Chinese saying goes, "haste only leads to failure".  In our view, we should first clarify the following questions: How serious is the humanitarian concern caused by ERW?  What is the scope of it?  What relevant regulations have the existing international humanitarian legal instruments provided for?

On the modality to address this issue, the Chinese delegation is not against in principle establishing a Group of Governmental Experts to discuss the issue.  However, in light of the complexity of this issue, we think that the Group of Governmental Experts should conduct discussing under a general mandate.  It is premature to start negotiation at current stage.  Nor will it be realistic to artificially set a deadline for the negotiation.

AVL

We can not agree with the idea to negotiate a protocol on anti-vehicle landmine (AVL).  We maintain that, in addressing this issue, the relations between the humanitarian concern and the legitimate self-defense needs of a sovereign state must be addressed in a balanced manner.  The Amended Protocol II has already provided with proper regulations on AVL.  In fact, the humanitarian concern caused by AVL is much less than that of anti-personnel landmine (APL).  In the meantime, the US-Danish proposal will conflict with the existing international humanitarian legal instruments.  Should it be concluded, it would cause confusion by introducing different legal interpretations for one single object.  Moreover, should a protocol be concluded according to the US-Danish proposal, a heavy burden would be added to developing countries in terms of implementation.  Such proposal would also be infeasible in technical terms.

SMALL CALLIBE WEAPONS

Last but not least, about the issue of wound ballistics regulations for small caliber weapons and ammunition, we appreciate the efforts by Switzerland and ICRC and will take part in the discussion in an open-ended manner.

Thank you, Mr. President-designate.
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