First, I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Coordinator for Agenda items 1 and 2 and appreciate your proposal on the Work Plan of the informal meetings. I would also like to thank the Secretariat for the introduction of discussions on the subject carried out by the Conference in recent years.
The complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, elimination of the danger of nuclear war, and establishment of a world without nuclear weapons, serve the common interests of the mankind.
Since the end of the Cold War, progress has been achieved in international nuclear disarmament. The trend of nuclear arms race has been reversed. The overall quantity of nuclear weapons in the world has been reduced. The threat of nuclear war has greatly decreased. The consensus of the international community to realize a world without nuclear weapons has been building up.
Meanwhile, it should also be noted that the international security situation is still complicated. The Cold War mentality still exists. The tendency of strengthening military alliances is rising to some extent. The regional turbulence and hot issues have been emerging from time to time. Traditional and non-traditional security threats have entwined with each other. There is still a long way to go in achieving a world without nuclear weapons.
During the 3rd PrepCom for the 2015 NPT Review Conference held recently, the States Parties carried out in-depth discussions on nuclear disarmament. Generally speaking, all States Parties support the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons. At the same time, there are still major divergences regarding the approaches, measures and timeframes to promote the nuclear disarmament.
During the 3rd PrepCom, the Chinese Delegation introduced China's views and positions on global nuclear governance, including ways to promote nuclear disarmament in the current circumstances, and submitted to the PrepCom its national report on implementation of the NPT. Based on the abovementioned positions, I would like to share some of our views on the principles to promote nuclear disarmament.
Firstly, nuclear disarmament is a military security issue in its nature. The principles of maintaining global strategic balance and stability and undiminished security for all should be upheld. We understand the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and at the same time, we believe that nuclear disarmament is closely related to the international strategic security situation. Maintaining global strategic balance and stability and ensuring undiminished security for all are important premises for constant progress in nuclear disarmament.
Secondly, a pragmatic attitude and gradual approach are required in promoting nuclear disarmament. Nuclear disarmament measures involve various factors such as international and regional security environment, military and security strategies of relevant countries, the level of mutual trust and confidence among states, the safety and security of nuclear weapons as well as non-proliferation considerations. There is no shortcut to the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. We should promote nuclear disarmament process in a pragmatic manner according to the consensus reached by the international community, including the roadmaps adopted by the successive NPT Review Conferences.
Thirdly, inclusive participation is a prerequisite to realize the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons. The international nuclear disarmament process should be promoted in the existing multilateral disarmament mechanisms. The UNGA First Committee, the UN Disarmament Commission, the Conference on Disarmament and the NPT review process are multilateral arms control mechanisms which have been established through years' long exploration by the international community. These bodies are irreplaceable either in their membership, technical expertise or experience. Advocating new mechanism to replace existing ones cannot guarantee the full participation of all the stakeholders, thus it will not be able to produce "meaningful" results in the end.
The international community anticipates concrete measures and achievements in realizing a world without nuclear weapons. In recent years, many initiatives and proposals on nuclear disarmament have been put forward. China has also shared its views in this regard on various occasions. The proposals put forward by China can be summarized in the following aspects:
Firstly, enhance the effectiveness and universality of the NPT, and consolidate and improve existing legal regime. All nuclear-weapon states should fulfill in good faith obligations under article VI of the NPT, and publicly undertake not to seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to take the lead in making drastic and substantive reductions in their nuclear weapons. When conditions are ripe, other nuclear-weapon states should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. States not parties to the NPT should accede as non-nuclear-weapon States to the Treaty promptly, and fulfill relevant obligations in good faith. The international community should work together to promote the early entry into force of the CTBT. The Conference on Disarmament should begin the negotiation of FMCT as soon as possible. Further efforts should be made to promote establishment of zones free of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction.
Secondly, reduce the role of nuclear weapons in national security policy, so as to create conditions for nuclear disarmament. Nuclear-weapon states should abandon the nuclear deterrence policy based on the first use of nuclear weapons, and undertake unequivocally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon free zones, and conclude a legally-binding international instrument in this regard. The nuclear-weapon states should negotiate and conclude a treaty for no-first-use of nuclear weapons against one another as well. Countries that deploy nuclear weapons abroad should withdraw all such weapons and abandon the policy and practice of nuclear umbrella and nuclear sharing.
Thirdly, enhance the security of nuclear weapons, and reduce the risk of nuclear war. Nuclear-weapon states should not target their nuclear weapons against any countries, or to list any countries as targets of nuclear strikes. Nuclear-weapon states should take all necessary security and safety measures to avoid accidental or unauthorized launches of nuclear weapons. International community should enhance cooperation to jointly combat nuclear terrorism.
Fourthly, create favorable environment for nuclear disarmament. The states concerned should abandon the development of missile defense systems which undermine global strategic balance and stability. The international community should vigorously promote multilateral negotiation on the prevention of the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. Joint efforts should be made to maintain the international non-proliferation regime, faithfully fulfill non-proliferation obligations, abandon the practice of double standards, promote peaceful uses and non-proliferation in a balanced manner, and resolve proliferation issues through political and diplomatic means.
China unswervingly follows the path of peaceful development and is firmly committed to a nuclear strategy of self-defense. As a nuclear-weapon state, China has never evaded its due responsibilities in nuclear disarmament and has consistently stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China has never threatened to use nuclear weapons against any country and has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons. China is the only nuclear-weapon state that has undertaken unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has never provided "nuclear umbrella" to other countries, and has never deployed nuclear weapons in foreign countries.
China has persistently exercised the utmost restraint on the scale and development of its nuclear weapons. China has never participated in any form of nuclear arms race and continues to keep its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security. These constitute our unique contribution to the nuclear disarmament.
Thank you, Mr. Coordinator.