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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Yishan Head of the Chinese Delegation at the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT

2005-09-22 00:00

Mr. President,

Please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, our congratulations on your election to the Presidency of the conference. I would also like to take this opportunity to express our deep felt respect for Ambassador Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of the Provisional Technical Secretariat(PTS), Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation and all other people who have been working hard for the entry into force of the CTBT.

We are happy to see that since the CTBT opened for signature in 1996, 176 States have signed the Treaty and 125 have ratified it. This reflects the extensive recognition and support by the international community and has brought us closer to the goal of entry into force.

The conclusion of the CTBT marked an important step and milestone by mankind towards comprehensive nuclear disarmament and the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons. It is of great significance for preventing nuclear weapons proliferation and promoting nuclear disarmament. The purposes and objectives established in the treaty have become basic international norms and its role in effectively preventing horizontal and vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons can never be ignored.

In today's world, the multilateral arms control and disarmament process and the international nuclear non-proliferation regime are confronted with severe challenges. It is therefore of urgent and practical significance for the international community to consolidate its basic consensus on banning nuclear test and speed up treaty ratification process with a view to bringing about an early entry into force. The Chinese side finds it necessary for the international community to make special efforts in the following areas:

First, efforts should be made to establish a new international security concept centering on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, resolve international disputes by peaceful and diplomatic means, and create an international security order under which all nations enjoy peace and security. That will help countries to give up the nuclear option, thereby realizing a comprehensive nuclear test ban.

Second, the purposes and principles of the CTBT must be safeguarded. The nuclear-weapon states should honor their commitment on moratoria of nuclear testing, refrain from researching into and developing new types of nuclear weapons, further reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, lower the status of such weapons in their national security strategy and unconditionally undertake not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. These measures will facilitate the nuclear disarmament process towards a world free of nuclear weapons. It must be pointed out that in the current situation, pursuit of nuclear weapons will not help increase security but will rather trigger off international and regional tension, and undermine world peace and stability.

Third, we should actively support the work of the Preparatory Commission for CTBTO, for an early completion of the construction of the monitoring and verification systems, so as to get materially and technically prepared for the entry into force. To this end, all signatories should pay their contribution to the Preparatory Commission on time and in full, actively support and fully participate in the work of Commission and strive for balanced progress of all preparatory works.

Mr. President,

China has all along advocated a complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and early realization of a nuclear-weapon-free world. China has developed its nuclear weapons for the sole purpose of self-defense and exercised utmost restraint in maintaining the nuclear arsenal at the lowest level necessary for self-defense. The CTBT is conducive to preventing nuclear weapons proliferation and promoting nuclear disarmament. The Chinese Government has all along supported and attached importance to the Treaty and worked unswervingly for its early entry into force.

China takes an active, constructive and comprehensive part in the various works of the Preparatory Commission and is making serious preparation for the implementation of the Treaty in China. A national authority for the implementation of the CTBT has been set up to take care of all preparatory works including the construction, operation and management of monitoring stations. China is responsible for 12 international monitoring stations, including 6 seismic stations, 3 radionuclide stations, 2 infrasound stations and 1 radionuclide laboratory as well as the national data center. The relevant work is progressing smoothly.

China supports the PTS in its work and attaches importance to the cooperative relationship between the two sides. Early this month, the Chinese side had the honour to receive a visit by Ambassador Toth. The meetings between the two sides are very fruitful. The successful visit has further strengthened the sound cooperation between China and the PTS.

China firmly supports the CTBT. As one of the first Signatories, China firmly believes in the purposes and objectives of the Treaty. Although the international security situation has undergone major changes in the past decade since the CTBT's opening to signature, China's position of supporting an early entry into force of the Treaty has never changed. China believes that an early entry into force is conducive to world peace and stability and serves the common interests of the international community. Proceeding from this position, the Chinese Government has always been active towards the ratification of the Treaty, already submitted the Treaty to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for approving, and promoted actively for an early ratification. At present, all the relevant work is underway in a serious and orderly fashion.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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