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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Hu Xiaodi at the Plenary of the Conference on Disarmament

Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation congratulates you on your assumption of the presidency of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), and pays tribute to your unremitting efforts in facilitating the work of the CD.

Mr. President,

For many years, China together with the Russian Federation and other countries have spared no effort in working for the prevention of an arms race in outer space in the international community, the CD in particular. China and Russia stand for the negotiation, in the CD, of an international legal instrument prohibiting the deployment of weapons in outer space, and the use or threat of force against outer space objects. For this purpose, Delegations of China, Russia and other countries have tabled a working paper which was contained in document CD/1679.

Since the submission of document CD/1679, some delegations have suggested that provisions on Definition and Verification should be incorporated so as to define the scope and the verification regime of the future instrument. Our sincere thanks go to those who made these pertinent suggestions. In response, Delegations of China and Russia circulated two thematic non-papers on "Existing International Legal Instruments and Prevention of the Weaponization of Outer Space" and "Verification Aspects of Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space" in August last year. Today, Delegations of China and Russia have circulated another joint thematic non-paper entitled "Definition Issue Regarding Legal Instruments on Prevention of the Weaponization of Outer Space" so as to promote better understanding of our positions and relevant working paper.

Just now, the distinguished Ambassador Skotnikov of the Russian Federation, on behalf of the two delegations, introduced this thematic non-paper. Essentially, it presents our preliminary definitions of terms such as "outer space", "outer space object", "weapon (in outer space)" etc.

We hope that this thematic non-paper will help people pay more attention and give more thoughts to the issue of prevention of an arms race in outer space and serve as food for thought for our negotiation of a relevant future legal instrument in the CD. We look forward to receiving valuable suggestions to this thematic non-paper from all delegations. Let's work together to develop the paper with a view to reinforcing the basis of the future negotiation.

Mr. President,

The 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) which was held last month failed to agree on a final document on the substantial issues in the areas of nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy. To China finds this outcome regrettable. However, like many other States Parties, China believes that NPT has played, and will continue to play, the critical role in preserving international nuclear non-proliferation regime, reducing the threat of nuclear weapons and maintaining global peace and security. China will, as always, faithfully implement all its obligations under the NPT, participate in the NPT review process in a positive and constructive manner, and comprehensively advance the three goals of the NPT, i.e., non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, peaceful use of nuclear energy and nuclear disarmament.

Mr. President,

The recent developments concerning outer space are worrisome and require more urgent efforts to start the work on preventing the weaponization of outer space. China appeals to all CD members to show political willingness and courage by agreeing on a programme of work, so as to begin substantive works on prevention of an arms race in outer space, nuclear disarmament, negative security assurances and a fissile material cut-off treaty, since they all bear on the international peace and security.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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