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Statement by Mr. Hu Xiaodi, Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs of China, at the Plenary of the 2004 Session of the Conference on Disarmament (February 12, 2004, Geneva)
Madame President,

At the outset, allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, to thank you cordially for your positive efforts in facilitating the substantive work of the Conference on Disarmament (CD).  Our gratitude also goes to your predecessor, Ambassador Kuniko Inoguchi of Japan, for her valuable contributions.

This year witnesses its whole calendar filled up by the CD, CCW governmental expert group meetings, UNDC, the Third Prep COM for NPT 2005 Review Conference, BWC expert meetings and annual conference, and the First Committee of the UN General Assembly.  It fully demonstrates that the "traditional" disarmament and arms control tasks, objectives and agenda have yet to be fulfilled, which demand our further efforts.  At the same time, we cannot lose sight of the new security environment, issues and threats.  Therefore, it is imperative to meet all the above challenges in a comprehensive and balanced manner when promoting arms control and disarmament in the CD or from a world-wide perspective.

Madame President,

At present, the issue of non-proliferation is growing salient in the area of international security.  The Chinese government has all along stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, and is resolutely opposed to the proliferation of such weapons.

Over the years, China has constantly strengthened and improved its non-proliferation legal system on the principle of rule of law.  To this end, we have promulgated a series of laws and regulations concerning the nuclear, biological, chemical, missile and military fields, and adopted stringent and effective export control measures.

On December 3, 2003, the Chinese government issued a white paper entitled "China's Non-Proliferation Policy and Measures" (access: www. china.org.cn, "government white paper section").  It is an authoritative official document laying out China's non-proliferation policy and measures.  The white paper elaborates, for the first time in a comprehensive and systematic manner, the characteristics of China's non-proliferation export control system, its relevant concrete measures as well as the strict implementation of the laws and regulations on non-proliferation export control.  The document has shown the resolve and sincerity of the Chinese government for non-proliferation.  Not only will this white paper facilitate the departments concerned of the Chinese government and relevant enterprises to have a good grasp and implementation of these policies, laws and regulations, but also enable the international community to gain a comprehensive, objective and precise understanding of China's non-proliferation policy and practices.

China's non-proliferation export control system features internationally accepted measures, such as export registration system, licensing system, end-user and end-use certification, list control method, non-proliferation-oriented examination and approval, "catch-all" principle and penalty measures.

In order to ensure the effective implementation of non-proliferation export control laws and regulations, the departments concerned of the Chinese government have devoted great efforts to building non-proliferation export control organs, publicizing relevant policies and regulations, conducting education for enterprises, investigating and handling cases of violation.  So far, a mechanism for a clear division of responsibility and coordination has been set up among relevant government's functional departments concerning export control.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to the investigation and handling of cases of law violations relating to non-proliferation.  Upon being aware of possible illegal exports, the competent departments will conduct serious investigations and administer corresponding administrative punishments, or transfer the cases to the judicial organs for ascertaining criminal responsibility, depending on the seriousness of the law-breaking acts.  In recent years, the Chinese government has investigated and dealt with a number of law-breaking cases and administered corresponding punishments to the units and individuals involved according to law.

Madame President,

International non-proliferation efforts and national non-proliferation policies and measures are mutually complementary.  Over years, China has participated extensively in the construction, improvement and development of the multilateral non-proliferation regimes.  We have signed all the relevant international treaties relating to non-proliferation and become member to a majority of the relevant international organizations.  Last September, Mr. Li Zhaoxing, Foreign Minister of China, sent a letter to the Chair of "Missile and Its Technology Control Regime" (MTCR), in which he clearly stated that China is ready to positively consider applying for joining the MTCR.  Two days ago, the first round of dialogue between China and the MTCR was held.  On January 26 this year, China submitted its application for the membership of the "Nuclear Suppliers Group" (NSG).  In days ahead, China will continue to participate actively in international non-proliferation endeavors, and exert great efforts to preserve and strengthen the existing international legal system concerning non-proliferation under the auspices of the United Nations.  It will constantly increase consultations and exchanges with the multinational non-proliferation mechanisms, and continue to take an active part in international discussions on non-proliferation, so as to facilitate the development and improvement of international non-proliferation regime, contributing to the promotion of international peace, stability and development.

Madame President,

On January 27, President Hu Jingtao of China and President Jacques Chirac of France issued a joint communiqué which embodies a series of basic positions aimed at promoting arms control and preventing proliferation.  I hereby quote as follows:

"China and France reiterate the importance of observing and strengthening the international instruments on arms control and non-proliferation, and are resolutely opposed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.  To this end, both countries agreed to set up a working group on arm control and non-proliferation in the framework of bilateral strategic dialogue, and to strengthen their cooperation and exchanges in the field of arms control, non-proliferation and export control over sensitive items.

Both attach importance to the strict observance of NPT, reiterate the importance of the Treaty, and determine to make efforts to facilitate the entry into force of CTBT.

Both also reiterate that it is imperative to strictly abide by CWC and BWC.

Both agree in principle to hold a United Nations Security Council summit meeting on the issue of non-proliferation.

France welcomes China's enaction of national laws and regulations on export control over sensitive items, and supports China's membership in MTCR as soon as possible and in other multilateral export control regimes when appropriate.

Both reiterate the importance of preventing an arms race in outer space."

Madame President,

Last October, China successfully launched the "Shengzhou 5" manned spaceship, which not only marks China's significant progress in the field of peaceful use of outer space, but also constitutes part of the endeavor by the whole international community to explore outer space.  Outer space belongs to the humankind.  It is in the interest of all countries and peoples to prevent weapons from proliferating into outer space, which must never become "the fourth space" for arms race and war.  China continues to hold the view that the Conference on Disarmament should reach agreement on a program of work as suggested by the Five Ambassadors (CD/1693/Rev.1), so as to start substantive work to negotiate international legal instruments on its important agenda items, including the prevention of an arms race in outer space.

Thank you, Madame President.
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