22 May, 2012,Geneva
Since this is the first time the Chinese delegation takes the floor under your Presidency, allow me to congratulate you on your assumption of the Presidency and express our appreciation for your efforts in guiding the Conference on Disarmament (CD) to carry out substantive work. The Chinese delegation supports the Schedule of Activities proposed by you and your P6 colleagues and assures you of its full support. I would also like to take this opportunity to convey sincere welcome to our new colleagues.
During the recently concluded First Session of Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference, State Parties held in-depth exchange of views on the implementation of the Action Plan contained in the Final Document of the 2010 Review Conference and how to advance the new review cycle. Thematic debate was also held on the issue of nuclear disarmament. We are pleased to see that all State Parties have been dedicated to the implementation of the Action Plan, and the goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and a world free of nuclear weapons is widely shared.
As a nuclear-weapon state, China has never evaded its due responsibilities in nuclear disarmament and has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. During the past half century, China has put forward a series of proposals on nuclear disarmament and adopted practical measures in this regard, making its contribution to the international nuclear disarmament process. It is China's belief that, under the new circumstances, the international community should promote the nuclear disarmament process in the following four aspects:
First, take credible steps to reduce the threat of nuclear war.
The mankind has been living in the shadow of the threat of nuclear war ever since the emergence of nuclear weapons. To realize a safer world for all, we must first and foremost remove the threat of nuclear war. Since the first day when it came into possession of nuclear weapons, the Chinese government has declared that it would not be the first to use such weapons at any time and in any circumstance and committed unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones.
China believes that it is of important and practical significance for the improvement of the international security environment and effectively diminishing the threat of nuclear war by reducing the role of nuclear weapons in national security policies and abandoning the nuclear deterrence policy based on first use of nuclear weapons. All nuclear-weapon states should make an unequivocal commitment of no-first-use of nuclear weapons against one another and negotiate and conclude a treaty in this regard. In the meantime, nuclear-weapon states should also make an unequivocal commitment of unconditionally not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and conclude a legally-binding international instrument in this regard at an early date.
Second, steadily promote the process of nuclear disarmament.
Effectively promoting nuclear disarmament process is essential to the realization of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and a world free of nuclear weapons. In this regard, 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 in a verifiable and irreversible manner. When conditions are ripe, other nuclear-weapon states should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. To attain the ultimate goal of complete and thorough 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.
China is firmly committed to a nuclear strategy of self-defense. It has persistently exercised the utmost restraint on the scale and development of its nuclear weapons and will continue to keep its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security. China has never deployed nuclear weapons on foreign territories and has never taken part and will never take part in any nuclear arms race. This itself constitutes China's unique contribution to the nuclear disarmament cause.
Third, promote the early entry into force of Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the early start of negotiation of Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).
CTBT and FMCT are important steps leading to the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China has participated in the negotiation of CTBT in a constructive manner and signed the Treaty in 1996 while declaring a moratorium on nuclear test. The Chinese Government is committed to the early ratification of the Treaty and will continue its efforts in this regard. China is ready to work with other countries to promote the early entry into force of the Treaty. China supports the early start of the negotiation of FMCT in CD at an early date.
Forth, stick to the principles of maintaining global strategic balance and stability and undiminished security for all.
Maintaining global strategic balance and stability and undiminished security for all are the premises and conditions for progress on international arms control and disarmament. Once such balance is broken, the arms control and disarmament process will turn into stalemate, or even get reversed.
China believes that the development of missile defense systems that disrupt global strategic balance and stability should be abandoned, multilateral negotiation process to prevent the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space should be vigorously promoted, and the comprehensive, common and cooperative security should be actively pursued. This is the only way to create the favorable international strategic security environment for sustained nuclear disarmament process.
Nuclear disarmament has always been a priority on the CD's agenda. Over the years, member states of the CD have put forward many ideas and proposals on how to carry out substantive work on nuclear disarmament in the CD. China hopes that all member states will make full use of the current discussion, taking into account latest developments, to further exchange views on nuclear disarmament, so as to enhance mutual understanding and trust and pave a solid ground for the future work.
Thank you, Mr. President.