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Statement of H.E. Ambassador CHENG Jingye, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the Meeting of Experts to The Biological Weapons Convention
2007/08/20

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to congratulate on your assumption of the chairmanship of the 2007 Meeting of Experts to the Biological Weapons Convention (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention"). Your rich experience in diplomatic and disarmament affairs will make valuable contributions to achieving success of the meeting. The Chinese delegation will fully support your work.

Since the entry into force of the Convention, it has played an irreplaceable role in the comprehensive prohibition, thorough destruction, non-proliferation of biological weapons and prevention of bio-terrorism. The Meetings of Experts and the Meetings of States Parties constitute the core element in implementing the working programme adopted by the Sixth Review Conference. The process also represents important platform and positive efforts to promote multilateral biological arms control and to strengthen the effectiveness of the Convention in a comprehensive manner. China attaches great importance to the process and will be fully engaged in the discussion constructively with a view to achieving positive outcome.

Mr. Chairman,

Adopting effective national implementation measures in accordance with the Convention and respective national situations constitutes basic obligations for the States Parties, as well as important prerequisite and guarantee for effective implementation of all articles of the Convention. China has all along attached great importance and committed to the implementation of the Convention in a comprehensive and effective manner and made unremitting efforts in improving its national implementation capacity in the following respects:

Firstly, laws and regulations on implementation of the Convention have been put in place and a series of effective administrative measures taken and improved to ensure rigorous implementation of the law. A series of laws and regulations, which cover the whole range of prohibition articles of the Convention, export control, biosafey and biosecurity, public health, infectious diseases surveillance have been promulgated and implemented. A comprehensive implementation legal system has taken shape, reviews and updates carried out in a timely manner. In the field of law enforcement, China rigorously implemented those related laws and regulations, punishing violations accordingly.

Secondly, China has established a national implementation mechanism with clear division of responsibility and effective coordination. The mechanism consists of such government's organs as Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Agriculture, Health, Commerce, and Chinese Customs. Each department bears its own responsibility and coordinates with others for ensuring the full implementation of all the related laws and measures.

Thirdly, the publicity of relevant laws and regulations has been enhanced through various kinds of seminars and training courses, with a view to raising the awareness and self-discipline of relevant enterprises, research and education institutions and personnel.

Mr. Chairman,

Promoting the comprehensive and forceful implementation of the Convention demands joint efforts of the international community. China supports cooperation on national implementation at international, regional and sub-regional levels. States Parties should, on the basis of equality, cooperation and mutual respect, provide assistance to those countries in need through technological exchange, financial support and regional workshop, to help improve implementation capacity.

In recent years, China hosted and took part in a series of seminars on implementation of the Convention. China participated in the Asian seminar on Prevention and Crisis Management of Biological Terrorism and hosted the Seminar on Implementing the Resolution 1540 in the Asia Pacific. China organized several international seminars on biosafety and infectious diseases surveillance. Bilateral exchanges are carried out between China and the USA, Canada, ASEAN and EU in this regard. Through the above-mentioned activities, China exchanged practice and experience on implementation with regional countries, drew upon successful experience of the others and explored how to better implement the Convention.

China has submitted to the meeting a Working Paper on its practice and propositions on national implementation and cooperation on implementation of the Convention.

Mr. Chairman,

China supports the establishment of an Implementation Support Unit (ISU) according to the decision of the Sixth Review Conference. The ISU will play an active role in promoting the universality and implementation of the Convention and deepening the exchange and cooperation among the States Parties. In order to meet the related requirement of the Sixth Review Conference, the Chinese government has designated Department of Arms Control and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as China's national point of contact for coordinating national implementation and keeping contact with ISU and other States Parties.

Mr. Chairman,

China remains committed to working with all parties to make full use of the meeting of experts, further strengthen exchange and cooperation on implementation of the Convention, and jointly maintain and strengthen the multilateral process of biological arms control.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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