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China's Position on Nuclear Disarmament
2004/04/16

China developed a very limited nuclear force for safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty and territory integrity, and also for maintaining world peace, breaking nuclear blackmail and preventing nuclear war with a view to eventually eliminating nuclear weapons. To this end, on the very first day when it possessed nuclear weapons, China solemnly declared that, it would at no time and under no circumstances be the first to use nuclear weapons. China also pledged unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has always kept its nuclear force to the minimum necessary for self-defense, making great contributions to international nuclear disarmament. China has been consistently advocating complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and calling for the early conclusion of an international treaty to that effect.

To achieve the goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, China maintains that:

First, the establishment of a new fair and just international order is the prerequisite for the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons. Only in an international environment of peace, security, stability and trust, can progress be made in nuclear disarmament. Similarly, only by opposing to and abandoning hegemonism, power politics and pursuit of absolute military superiority, can each and every country enjoy the sense of security, thereby removing the incentives for some countries to develop or retain nuclear weapons.

Second, nuclear disarmament should follow the approach of gradual reduction and downward balance, and stick to the principles of "maintaining the global strategic stability " and "not compromising the security interest of any country". Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals undertake special and principal responsibility for nuclear disarmament, and therefore should make further substantial reductions of their respective nuclear arsenals.

Third, the nuclear-weapon states should, at an early date and in a legally binding format, unconditionally undertake not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and pledge not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones.

Fourth, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) should be strictly abided by, and the countries concerned should accede to the treaty without any conditions. All countries should sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) as soon as possible, so as to achieve the early entry into force of the treaty. The international community should also negotiate and conclude a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Fifth, the global strategic balance and stability, which constitutes the basis and precondition for progress in nuclear disarmament, must be maintained. The countries concerned should fully comply with the existing arms control treaties essential for maintaining global strategic balance, and stop the development, deployment and proliferation of advanced anti-missile systems and outer space weapons. Otherwise, the nuclear disarmament process will be hampered, and a new round of nuclear arms race may be triggered off, thereby jeopardizing international peace and security.

Sixth, on the basis of the above-mentioned, a convention on the comprehensive prohibition of nuclear weapons should be concluded.

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