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Statement by Chinese Delegation at the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference on Nuclear Disarmament

Mr. Chairman,

It is a shared aspiration of all countries in the world and in the common interest of mankind to completely prohibit and totally eliminate nuclear weapons and to diminish the threat of nuclear war. China is pleased to witness that, since the 1960s, when China advocated the complete and thorough nuclear disarmament, the belief of a nuclear-weapon-free world has received more and more extensive response and support.

Nuclear disarmament is one of the important goals of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) . Under the current international situation, the fundamental guarantee and effective path of taking forward nuclear disarmament is to insist on the existing international arms control and disarmament mechanism, insist on preserving and promoting the authority, universality and effectiveness of the NPT, and insist on multilateralism with universal and equal participation of all parties.

China believes that the international community should continue to make the following efforts:

— To actively advocate and pursue a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept in the spirit of jointly building a community of shared future for mankind, to jointly build a peaceful and stable international security environment, so as to foster favorable conditions for nuclear disarmament.

— To take just and reasonable nuclear disarmament steps leading to gradual reduction and a downward balance. Relevant measures should be consistent with the principles of maintaining global strategic stability and undiminished security for all.

— Countries possessing the largest nuclear arsenals bear special and primary responsibilities for nuclear disarmament. Such countries should earnestly comply with the treaties already concluded on reduction of nuclear weapons and further reduce their nuclear arsenals in a verifiable and irreversible manner, so as to create conditions for achieving the ultimate goal of complete and thorough nuclear disarmament.

— Pending the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, the most realistic and feasible nuclear disarmament measure is: all nuclear-weapon States commit themselves to no first use of nuclear weapons and undertake unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and conclude an international legal instruments to this end.

— nuclear-weapon States should reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national security doctrines, abandon the policies of nuclear deterrence based on first use of nuclear weapons, and observe their commitments not to target nuclear weapons at any country. States who have deployed nuclear weapons abroad should withdraw and repatriate such weapons and abolish the policy of nuclear umbrella and the practice of nuclear sharing.

— The Action Plan agreed upon in the 2010 NPT RevCon, which includes a detailed roadmap for advancing international nuclear disarmament process, constitutes a valuable consensus reached by all parties after repeated negotiations, and should be continually implemented in a balanced manner.

Mr. Chairman,

As an important part and parcel of general and complete disarmament, nuclear disarmament is not only mutually complementary to nuclear non-proliferation, but also could not be isolated from the current trend of new armament development. In recent years, with science and technology developing by leaps and bounds, the militarization and weaponization trend in the field of outer space, cyber space and artificial intelligence have exerted complex and far-reaching impact on strategic security environment. To tackle nuclear disarmament issues in isolation while turning a blind eye to the erosion of nuclear non-proliferation regime caused by the practice of double standard and ignoring the emerging arms race in high-tech fields is tantamount to getting blood from stone . In order to push forward nuclear disarmament process in a favorable security environment, the international community should pay particular attention to the following issues:

(a) Since the entry into force of the NPT, to promote nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation has gradually become an international norm accepted by the whole international community. Neither withdrawal from the NPT nor refusal to accede to the Treaty exempts relevant countries the bind of the NPT’s purpose and principles. In this regard, the international community should completely abandon the practice of double standard and refrain from calculating out of selfish geopolitical interest, destructing the Treaty’s cornerstone status. All UN Security Council resolutions on non-proliferation should be implemented in a comprehensive and non-discriminatory manner.

(b) To develop and deploy missile defense systems which impair global strategic balance and stability, will definitely damage the international and regional security environment and exert negative impact on nuclear disarmament . Countries concerned should immediately stop and abandon such policy and practice.

(c) To prevent an arms race in outer space complements nuclear disarmament efforts. Should substantial progress in the field of preventing an arms race in outer space be made in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva or other fora, it is not only conducive to maintaining outer space security and to improving strategic mutual trust among nations, but could also create favorable conditions for nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Chairman,

China has all along actively supported international nuclear disarmament efforts, fulfilled its nuclear disarmament obligations in good faith, and made important contributions in practical way to promote nuclear disarmament process.

— China firmly pursues a path of peaceful development, adheres to a self-defensive nuclear strategy, and maintains an open, transparent and responsible nuclear policy.

— China has never deployed nuclear weapons in any other countries; nor has it ever participated in nuclear arms race of any kind and will not do so. China has long kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security.

— China is firmly committed to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances. China also undertakes unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has long advocated nuclear-weapon States to conclude relevant international legal instrument thereupon.

— China supports the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and honors its commitment to a moratorium on nuclear test. Last December, the China Lanzhou Radionuclide Station has been certified by Preparatory Commission of CTBTO, making it the first certified CTBT monitoring station in China. China will continue to promote domestic preparatory work for the implementation of the CTBT. China supports the CD, after reaching agreement on its comprehensive and balanced program of work, to start the negotiation on a Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) at an early date, on the basis of the Shannon Report (CD/1299) and the mandate contained therein, while firmly opposes setting up new platforms for such a negotiation.

— With regard to transparency and confidence-building measures, China has published several white papers to enunciate its nuclear strategy and policy of utilizing nuclear weapons. China has maintained dialogue and consultations with other four nuclear-weapon States on the issues such as the confidence-building measures and the implementation of the review outcomes of the NPT. The P5 Working Group on Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms piloted by China has published its first phase outcome at the 2015 NPT RevCon, and China would like to take lead the second phase of the Group.

Mr. Chairman,

China’s principled position on nuclear disarmament is essentially in line with the purposes of negotiations on “The Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty”. China also believes that nuclear disarmament, which cannot be achieved overnight, must be pressed ahead in a gradual and incremental way following the principles of maintaining global strategic stability and undiminished security for all. Relevant process must be advanced within the existing international disarmament and non-proliferation mechanism. Even though China has decided not to participate in the negotiations, China’s adamant support for a final comprehensive ban on and total destruction of nuclear weapons remains unchanged. China would keep in touch with relevant parties in this regard.

Mr. Chairman,

China, as always, will consistently make joint and unremitting efforts with international community in promoting nuclear disarmament process and reducing the risks of nuclear war. The Chinese delegation has submitted a working paper on the issue of nuclear disarmament which elaborates China's relevant positions. We hope the elements contained therein will be reflected in the report of this PrepCom.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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