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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the Thirteenth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

2023-09-22 18:50

I would like to congratulate Panama and Norway on their election as co-presidents of this conference, and to express my appreciation to the co-presidents of the previous conference, Italy and South Africa. I would also like to commend Mr. Floyd, the Executive Secretary of CTBTO,  and his team for their work. 

The CTBT concluded in 1996 has played an important role in curbing the nuclear arms race, reducing the risk of nuclear war and maintaining global strategic stability, thus becoming a key pillar of the international nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation system. Currently, a certain country is strengthening its military alliances, provoking confrontation and promoting forward deployment of strategic forces such as nuclear weapons and missiles. These acts damage the strategic balance and stability and increase the risks of a nuclear arms race and nuclear conflict. These negative developments and the continuing deterioration of the international security environment further highlight the urgency and importance of promoting the early entry into force of the treaty. The international community should make joint efforts to strengthen the vitality of the treaty, accelerate its entry into force and maintain and consolidate the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation system. China would like to make the following propositions.

First, we should uphold the concept of common security and true multilateralism. We should reject the Cold War mentality and the zero-sum gaming, insist on addressing each other's legitimate security concerns through dialogue and consultation, bridge differences and disputes, and defuse geopolitical conflicts so as to create a favorable political environment for the entry into force of the treaty. 

Second, we should honor international obligations and commitments and reject double standards. A certain country engages in nuclear submarine cooperation that poses a serious risk of nuclear proliferation violates the object and purpose of the NPT and undermines regional peace and stability. This act should stop immediately. 

Third, we should adhere to the consensus on nuclear non-proliferation and reduce the risk of nuclear conflict. Nuclear-weapon states should effectively reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national security policies, abide by the moratorium on nuclear testing, adopt a no-first-use policy and conclude a treaty on mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons. A certain nuclear-weapon state should abandon the so-called extended deterrence policy and refrain from replicating nuclear sharing arrangements in the Asia Pacific region. 

Fourth, we should continue to move forward preparations for treaty compliance and carry out the construction of the International Data Center, the International Monitoring System and the onsite inspection mechanism in a comprehensive and balanced manner so as to provide solid technical and capacity guarantees for the early entry into force of the treaty. 

China is one of the first countries to sign the CTBT, upholds the principles and purposes of the treaty, adheres to the moratorium on testing and supports and participates in building the International Monitoring System. China is ready to continue to advance its cooperation with the CTBTO Secretariat and to promote the early entry into force of the treaty. 

Since the very first possession of nuclear weapons, China has advocated for complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. Regardless of changes in the international landscape, China will always pursue a nuclear strategy of self-defense, maintain its nuclear forces at the lowest level necessary for its national security, and refrain from seeking nuclear parity and engaging in a nuclear arms race with any nuclear-weapon state. I would like to reiterate that China has never wavered in its support for the treaty, and will never become an obstacle to its entry into force. China will continue to make efforts to promote the international nuclear disarmament and realization of a world free of nuclear weapons.


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