Averting the danger of a nuclear war, cessation of the nuclear arms race and taking effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament are important objectives of the NPT.
Since the 8th Review Conference of the NPT in 2010, international consensus on nuclear disarmament is getting stronger. The Action Plan in the Final Document of the 8th RevCon is being implemented, the new cycle of review process has started smoothly and the process of nuclear disarmament has achieved some progress. Meanwhile, it should be pointed out that nuclear disarmament is sensitive and complicated, which cannot be achieved overnight. There is still a long way to go to realize the objective of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. All parties should continue to uphold a new thinking on security featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and make joint efforts in the direction of complete elimination of nuclear weapons. We would like to take this opportunity to share our views on how to comprehensively implement the Action Plan in the Final Document of the 8th RevCon and how to promote nuclear disarmament process under current situation.
Firstly, 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. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to make drastic reductions of their nuclear weapons in a verifiable and irreversible manner. 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.
Secondly, the Action Plan adopted by the 2010 RevCon should be strictly implemented. The Action Plan had formulated a detailed roadmap for the international nuclear disarmament process. This is an important agreement reached 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. Any misinterpretation or reopening the negotiation of the Action Plan will disturb its implementation, which will not be conducive to realizing all the objectives set by the 8th RevCon.
Thirdly, the role of nuclear weapons in the national security policy should be reduced, so as to create favorable international environment to promote nuclear disarmament. Nuclear-weapon states should abandon the nuclear deterrence policy based on the first use of nuclear weapons and conclude a treaty on not to be the first to use nuclear weapons against each other. Furthermore, the nuclear-weapon states should also undertake unequivocally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and to conclude international legal instruments without delay in this regard at the Conference on Disarmament. Nuclear-weapon states should respect the status of the nuclear-weapon-free zones, duly assume relevant obligations in a legally-binding manner, especially undertaking not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against nuclear-weapon-free zones. Meanwhile, the international community should work together to promote and facilitate efforts to build new nuclear-weapon-free zones.
Fourthly, the existing multilateral disarmament mechanisms should be maintained. Such existing institutions as the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the UN Disarmament Commission have provided appropriate venues for addressing nuclear disarmament issues. Establishing new mechanisms to deal with nuclear disarmament will only undermine the authority of existing ones, divert limited resources, and cannot guarantee the participation of all major stakeholders. The CD is the single and most appropriate forum for the negotiations of the FMCT. The CD should start the negotiation of FMCT which will be participated by all the relevant parties and start substantive work on nuclear disarmament, PAROS and NSA at an early date.
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.
China always respects and supports efforts of non-nuclear-weapon states to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned. China supports the endeavors of ASEAN countries and five Central Asia countries in promoting the establishment of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Southeast Asia and Central Asia respectively. We support further consultations among relevant countries to resolve outstanding issues related to the relevant Protocols. To establish the Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and All Other Weapons of Mass Destruction is conducive to mitigating existing regional tensions, promoting regional peace and stability, and strengthening the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. China always supports relevant countries’ efforts in promoting the establishment of Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and All Other Weapons of Mass Destruction. China is regretful that an International Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and All Other Weapons of Mass Destruction was unable to be convened in 2012 as required by the Action Plan of 2010 NPT RevCon. We hope that relevant parties could bridge the differences through dialogue and consultations, and convene this conference at an early date in 2013. China will, together with relevant parties, continue to make our own contribution to the realization of this goal. Last September, China, together with other nuclear-weapon states issued a joint statement, reassuring Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status and related security assurance provided to Mongolia.
China is dedicated to international nuclear disarmament. In 67th UNGA, China continued to vote in favor of resolution 67/34 entitled ‘Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world’, resolution 67/46 entitled ‘Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems’, resolution 67/64 entitled ‘Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons’, and resolution 67/29 entitled ‘Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons’.
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. Last week, the new round of P5 Conference was convened in Geneva. Aimed at promoting three pillars of NPT, namely nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the five states exchanged views on a wide range of issues including global strategic balance, NPT report, the work of CD and etc. The conference has yielded positive results. The P5 Working Group on Glossary of Definitions for Key Nuclear Terms, chaired by China, successfully convened its first Experts’ Meeting in Beijing last September. So far, the P5 experts have reached a preliminary agreement on a list of key nuclear terms and will continue their work on defining these nuclear terms. The exchange of views on nuclear terms and definitions will promote mutual understanding and contribute to confidence building among five nuclear weapon states. The P5 have agreed to submit to the 2015 NPT Review Conference the text of glossary on nuclear terms in Chinese, English, French and Russia. We hope this will also be conducive to all parties’ implementation of the outcome of NPT review process.
The Chinese Delegation has submitted a working paper on nuclear disarmament which elaborates China’s relevant positions. We hope the elements contained therein will be reflected in the report of this PrepCom.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.