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Statement by Ambassador Hu Xiaodi, Head of the Chinese Delegation, on Preventing Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at the 3rd Session of the PrepCom for the 2005 NPT Review Conference

2004-04-29 00:00

Mr. Chairman:

The international nuclear non-proliferation regime based on the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons has played an important role in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the past decades. It is on the whole effective and has been reinforced constantly.

In recent years, regional nuclear issues, the exposed nuclear smuggling network and possibility of terrorism converging with weapons of mass destruction have presented new challenges to efforts to prevent proliferation.

China believes that the fundamental guarantee against proliferation lies with a global security environment of cooperation and mutual trust and common security for all since they will help reduce the incentives for some states to acquire, develop or maintain nuclear weapons.

The correct and effective way to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons is to advocate multilateralism, strengthen international cooperation and seek peaceful and political solutions to problems emerging in non-proliferation. We must avoid double or multiple standards or pursuing other purposes in the name of non-proliferation.

The three main objectives of the NPT should be dealt with in a balanced way. They are mutually supportive of one another. Progress in nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy will conduce to non-proliferation efforts.

Efforts should be made to strengthen and improve the existing non-proliferation regime, promote the universality of the NPT, strengthen IAEA safeguards, consolidate international export control mechanisms and reinforce physical protection of nuclear weapons and nuclear material.

Mr. Chairman,

China has strictly complied with its NPT obligations, including the non-proliferation obligations. It has all along adhered to the policy of not advocating, encouraging or engaging in proliferation of nuclear weapons, not assisting other countries in the development of nuclear weapons, and opposing the proliferation of nuclear weapons in any way to any country.

China has consistently supported international nuclear non-proliferation efforts and worked to improve the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.

China believes that the IAEA safeguards are important components of the international non-proliferation regime and have played a vital role in safeguarding states' non-proliferation commitments. We support the IAEA in strengthening safeguards and implementing its verification functions according to its Statute. China also hopes to see faithful implementation of safeguards obligations by all states.

In 1984, China joined the IAEA and has since actively participated in the Agency's activities. In December 1998, China signed the Additional Protocol and formally completed in March 2002 the domestic legal procedures necessary for the entry-into-force of the Additional Protocol, thus becoming the first nuclear-weapon state with the Additional Protocol in effect. China has declared to the Secretariat of IAEA and clarified upon request its cooperation with non-nuclear-weapon states according to the Protocol. In doing so, China has further contributed to the international non-proliferation regime by helping the Secretariat of IAEA to gain valuable experience on the implementation of the Additional Protocol. We hope all states will adopt active measures to sign and ratify the Additional Protocol at an early date. China actively supports and participates in safeguards activities of the IAEA and has submitted 9 nuclear facilities to the IAEA safeguards. At present, the IAEA is implementing safeguards over three Chinese nuclear facilities.

China has always held a positive attitude towards the reinforcement of international export control mechanisms. We find it necessary to adopt relevant measures to address new challenges and to further strengthen the export control of sensitive items without affecting peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In 1997, China became a member of the Zangger Committee. Last January, China formally applied to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and made the commitment to conducting export control according to the Guidelines and Control Lists of the NSG upon accession. We hope China's accession to the Group will allow us to the international nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

In recent years, according to the principle of rule of law, the Chinese Government has constantly strengthened and improved the legal system for nuclear non-proliferation and export control to ensure effective enforcement of its non-proliferation policies. China has adopted export controls consistent with international practices, including exporters' registration system, end-user and end-use certificates, licensing system, non-proliferation-oriented license examination and approval, list control method, and the catch-all principle. The List of the Control of Nuclear Export and the List of the Control of Nuclear Dual-Use Items and Related Technologies Export promulgated by China cover all items and technologies on the lists of the Zangger Committee and the NSG. On 3 December 2001, the Chinese Government issued a white paper entitled China's Non-Proliferation Policy and Measures, which gives a comprehensive account of China's non-proliferation policies, measures, export control regime, laws and regulations, the division of responsibilities and coordination of relevant export control departments, investigation and handling of violation cases, including those in the nuclear field.

China supports the international efforts against nuclear terrorism. We played an active role in the formulation of the Convention Against Nuclear Terrorism. China has acceded to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, and actively supported and took part in the revision of the Convention. We hope that countries will consult with one another and solve the remaining problems in particular, the exemption of military action as soon as possible so as to facilitate an early implementation of the revised Convention. In April 2003, China and the IAEA jointly held a successful regional workshop on enhancing physical protection.

China is committed to reinforcing the universality, effectiveness and integrity of the NPT. We welcome and appreciate the accession to the NPT by Cuba and Timor Leste, and urge countries that have not done so yet to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states at an early date and to place all their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese Delegation has submitted a working paper on the Prevention of Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and hopes that the relevant elements will be reflected in the recommendations to the 2005 NPT Review Conference. A fact sheet has also been produced to detail the policies and measures adopted by China in this area.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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