First of all, please allow me to congratulate you on assuming the role of the Coordinator on NSA. The Chinese delegation would like to thank you for tabling the list of questions for discussion at this informal meeting and we are willing to conduct focused and in-depth discussions under your guidance with all CD members.
China has always attached great importance to the issue of NSA. Since the first day when China came into possession of nuclear weapons, the Chinese government has made the solemn commitment to no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances and to unconditional no use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free-zones. China supports the negotiation and conclusion at the CD of a legally binding international instrument on NSA. China has signed and ratified relevant protocols to the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the Treaty of Rarotonga and the Pelindaba Treaty, and not long ago ratified the protocol to the Central Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty. We have no difficulty with singing the Protocol to the South East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty and hope that this protocol will be signed soon. We have been actively supporting the establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and All Other Weapons of Mass Destruction and are willing to make our contribution to this end.
The issue of NSA touches upon world peace and security, and should receive great attention. China deeply regrets the CD's failure over the years to conduct substantive work on this matter.
As the non-nuclear weapon states have undertaken not to develop or acquire nuclear weapons, it goes without saying that they should have the right not to be subject to the threat of nuclear weapons.
At present, the nuclear weapon states have made commitments on NSA to varying degrees, mainly in the forms of unilateral policy declarations, Security Council resolutions and additional protocols to nuclear weapon free zones. Yet either because they lack legally binding force, or they are too much open to free interpretations or they lack universality, these three forms cannot meet the concerns of non-nuclear weapon states. The only effective solution to this issue is the negotiation and conclusion of a legally binding and universal international instrument on NSA.
The negotiation and conclusion of an international legal instrument on NSA has positive significance in at least three aspects. First, it will reduce the driving force for non-nuclear weapon states to seek nuclear weapons and contribute to the maintenance and strengthening of international nuclear non-proliferation regime. Secondly, it will decrease the role of nuclear weapons and facilitate nuclear disarmament process. Thirdly, it will reduce the risk of the use of nuclear weapons and help alleviate the concerns of some countries for humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.
While discussing NSA, it is difficult to avoid the issue of nuclear umbrella. Some non-nuclear weapon states on the one hand talk profusely about the so-called humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and on the other hand obtain protection from the so-called extended deterrence through their relationship of military alliance with nuclear weapon states. Such extended deterrence is based precisely on the first use of nuclear weapons. This runs counter to the original intention of NSA and will surely hamper relevant international efforts in this regard. We call on the countries concerned to abandon such self-contradictory policies at an early date.Thank you, Mr. Coordinator.