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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Wu Haitao at the Space Security Conference 2013


Dear Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

     It is my great pleasure to attend the Conference on Space Security again. Over the past years, this Conference has become an important forum on issues related to space security. Since 2005, China has provided financial support to this event, with the hope that the conference will make greater contributions to promoting studies on space security, stimulating valuable thoughts and accumulating common understandings among international community.

     Dear Colleagues,

     At last year's Conference, I touched upon the relationship between space security and space development, and pointed out the necessity to approach these two aspects in a comprehensive and objective manner, clearly identify different threats and challenges from the two aspects and put forward pertinent and feasible solutions. Today, I would like to further illustrate China's views on space security and space development, taking into consideration new developments over the last year.

     Firstly, weaponization of outer space constitutes the gravest challenge to space security.

     With the rapid development of space technology in recent years, the risks of weaponization of outer space are also increasing. The warfare concepts and doctrines of control and dominance in outer space have been developed. Such development has raised concerns and worries from the international community. Many countries have put forward proposals on preventing weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. In-depth discussions on this issue were also carried out at this forum.

     It must be recognized that increasing risks of weaponization of and an arms race in outer space will constitute the major challenge to space security. Peaceful use of outer space will be hampered. Mutual trust among countries in space security will be undermined. And global strategic balance and stability will be broken.

     The international community should therefore adopt preventive measures to ensure the enduring peace and security in outer space. The UN General Assembly has for more than 30 consecutive years adopted the resolution on Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) by overwhelming majority, calling for the negotiation of multilateral agreements on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. Major space-faring countries should follow the trend of times and agree to start substantive work on PAROS in the Conference on Disarmament as soon as possible.

     In 2008, China and Russia jointly submitted to the CD the draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT). Many member states of the CD welcome this initiative, believing that the draft has provided a good basis for future negotiations. China is ready to work with all parties to continue in-depth discussions, so as to further improve the draft PPWT and facilitate early start of the negotiations.

     Secondly, a comprehensive approach should be adopted to address issues related to space development.

     Efforts should be made to accommodate concerns of different countries in establishing relevant international rules. Countries are at different stages in their development of space capabilities. For those countries at the early stage of exploring space, especially developing countries, capacity-building is their primary objective. Therefore, we must take into account and accommodate the concerns of all countries in developing relevant international rules and regulations, especially the right of developing countries to peaceful use of outer space, instead of only focusing on the responsibility aspect of space activities.

     Joint efforts should be made in addressing the threat of the deterioration of space environment. Space debris is a historical problem accumulated in the exploration and utilization of outer space by mankind. Resolving the problem requires common efforts by all countries. In this regard, all countries should actively support the work of UN COPUOS and fulfill relevant obligations in good faith. Meanwhile, a constructive spirit of cooperation is needed in addressing relevant disputes.

     Enhancing international cooperation is important to promote peaceful use of outer space. In recent years, there has been more focus on space environmental protection, while exchanges and cooperation on space technology have received less attention. Outer space is the common wealth of mankind. The peaceful utilization of outer space should also benefit all mankind. Major space-faring countries are responsible for providing relevant public goods and all countries should actively promote international exchanges and cooperation in peaceful use of outer space, with a view to foster an equal, fair and mutually-beneficial environment for space development.

     China is still in the developing stage in its space capability. China is looking forward to enhancing space capability and conducting space activities through cooperation and exchanges with other countries. China has signed 68 bilateral agreements on space cooperation, provided satellites launch service for more than a dozen countries. China is actively promoting the application of Beidou satellite navigation system in the Asia-Pacific region. China is also promoting and supporting regional space cooperation in the framework of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO).

     Thirdly, PAROS and TCBMs in outer space are parallel processes mutually complementary to each other.

     PAROS and TCBMs in outer space should complement each other and be pushed forward simultaneously. We should not focus on one process while neglecting the other. Nor should we ignore the internal linkage between the two. Efforts should be made to promote tangible and substantive outcome from both processes.

     PAROS deserves due attention from all states. It should be an important topic on the agenda of relevant international and regional space security conferences, enabling people to focus and consider the issue, facilitating exchange of views and better understanding of issue to seek common ground.

     The UN Group of Governmental Experts should constitute a major platform for discussions on TCBMs in outer space, and put forward concrete, feasible and reasonable recommendations in this regard. We appreciate the quite balanced and comprehensive draft report proposed by Mr. Vasiliev, Chairman of the GGE, based on the views expressed by members of the GGE. I would like to commend Mr.Vasiliev for his diligent work. I believe that under his able guidance, the GGE will achieve positive result.

     In principle, China is open to the initiative of International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities (ICOC). China will continue to take part in relevant discussions in a constructive manner. Meanwhile, many countries, including China, are of the view that the process of ICOC should adopt strict rules of procedure and a clear mandate. We hope that such concerns can be taken into account, so as to enhance the authority and effectiveness of the relevant initiative.

     Dear Colleagues,

     China will, as always, firmly opposes the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space, and actively promote peaceful exploration and utilization of outer space. We are looking forward to working together with all parties to jointly promote relevant processes and safeguard the lasting peace and tranquility of outer space.

     Thank you.

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