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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Wu Haitao of the Chinese Delegation at the Plenary of the Conference on Disarmament, on Nuclear Disarmament

Madam President,

     Since this is the first time my delegation takes the floor under your Presidency, I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for your efforts in promoting the work of the Conference on Disarmament (CD). The Chinese delegation will continue to fully support and cooperate with you.

     Madam President,

     The Chinese delegation supports your proposal on how to proceed with the work of the CD. In our view, under the current circumstances, thematic discussions on the four core agenda items at the plenary will contribute to systematic and in-depth exchanges of views on issues of common concern, to explore feasible ways to promote multilateral disarmament process and the work of the CD, bearing in mind the new developments and challenges in the relevant fields.

     Meanwhile, China also supports further consultations by the Presidency with all the parties to facilitate the adoption of a Programme of Work acceptable to all. In this regard, we hope that all parties will fully accommodate each other's legitimate security concerns and further demonstrate flexibility in a pragmatic and constructive manner, to jointly facilitate substantive progress of the work of the CD.

     Madam President,

     In recent years, there has been new progress in the field of international nuclear disarmament. At the same time, there is still a long way to go to realize the objective of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and achieving a world without nuclear weapons. There are also various views on how to promote the nuclear disarmament process among the international community and some new proposals have be put forward. I would like to take this opportunity to make a few points concerning the recent developments in the field of nuclear disarmament:

     Firstly, the objective of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons should be pursued. The nuclear weapon states should fulfill in good faith its obligation of nuclear disarmament, and publicly undertake not to seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to make drastic reductions in their nuclear weapons in a verifiable and irreversible manner. When conditions are ripe, other nuclear-weapon states should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. The international community should develop, at an appropriate time, a viable, long-term plan composed of phased actions, including the conclusion of a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons.

     Secondly, the principles of maintaining global strategic balance and stability and undiminished security for all should be upheld. Nuclear disarmament and the international strategic security situation are closely related. Maintaining global strategic balance is the important premise for progress in nuclear disarmament. The development of missile defense systems that disrupt global strategic balance and stability should be abandoned, so as to create favorable international strategic security environment for sustainable nuclear disarmament process.

     Thirdly, the step-by-step approach should be adopted. The Action Plan in the Final Document adopted by consensus by the 2010 NPT Review Conference had formulated a detailed roadmap for the international nuclear disarmament process. This is an important agreement approved by all States Parties through hard negotiations. The current priority is to implement the Action Plan in a comprehensive and balanced manner and to steadily promote the nuclear disarmament process.

     Fourthly, the existing multilateral disarmament machinery should be safeguarded. Such existing institutions as the Conference on Disarmament, the UN Disarmament Commission and the NPT Review mechanism have provided appropriate venues for the deliberation and negotiation of nuclear disarmament issues. Establishing new mechanisms to address nuclear disarmament will only undermine the authority of existing ones, divert limited resources and create disorder in international nuclear disarmament process, which will not be conducive to efficient advancement of nuclear disarmament.

     Madam President,

     As a nuclear-weapon state, China has never evaded its due responsibilities in nuclear disarmament and has consistently stood for and advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance, and has made the unequivocal commitment that we will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has never deployed nuclear weapons on foreign territory. China has never taken part and will never take part in any form of nuclear arms race, and will continue to keep its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security.

     In recent years, China and other nuclear-weapon states have convened a series of conferences on the implementation of the outcome of NPT review process. China welcomes Russia’s decision to host the next P5 Conference this April in Geneva. We will actively participate in the relevant work. China hosted the first Experts’ Meeting of P5 Working Group on Glossary of Definitions for Key Nuclear Terms in September 2012. We will accelerate the work of the project. This will promote mutual understanding and exchange of views and contribute to confidence building among the five nuclear weapon states.

     Thank you, Madam President.

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