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Statement by Counsellor Shen Jian of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Debate on Outer Space at the 69th Session of the UNGA First Committee

2014-10-27 23:06

Mr. Chairman,

The security of outer space is vital to the existence and development of all mankind. The relationship between space security and space development should be properly addressed in exploring and utilizing outer space. The equal rights of all countries to peaceful uses of outer space should be ensured. At the same time, the eternal peace and sustainable development of space should be guaranteed.

With increasing activities of mankind in utilizing outer space, the risks of weaponization of and an arms race in outer space are increasing, and space security is confronted with growing uncertainties. It is in the common interests of all countries to ensure peaceful uses of outer space and to prevent the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. The UNGA has, for consecutive years, adopted resolutions on "Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space"with overwhelming majority, calling for negotiation of relevant multilateral agreement in the Conference on Disarmament(CD). This fully demonstrates the common aspiration of the international community to prevent weaponization of and an arms race in outer space.

China is dedicated to maintaining peace and security in outer space. In 2008, China and Russia jointly submitted to the CD a draft "Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, and of the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects"(PPWT). In June 2014, China and Russia submitted an updated version of the draft PPWT, taking into account comments and proposals of interested states and the evolving situation in outer space. We hope that the CD will start substantive work on the basis of the updated draft as soon as possible. As this is an open draft, we welcome comments and suggestions from all parties, so as to jointly improve it.

China welcomes the draft resolution entitled "No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space" initiated by Russia. We believe this is an important effort to prevent weaponization of outer space, and the purpose of the draft resolution is in line with the ultimate objective of negotiation of multilateral agreement on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. China will co-sponsor this draft resolution with Russia and other countries.

Mr. Chairman,

China attaches importance to Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs) for outer space activities. Appropriate and viable TCBMs are conducive to enhancing mutual trust, reducing misperceptions, regulating outer space activities and maintaining outer space security. TCBMs can be complementary to the process on prevention of the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. However, they can not substitute the negotiation of an outer space arms control treaty.

The report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts(GGE) on Space TCBMs last year is a balanced outcome of pragmatic and thorough discussions by the GGE members, while taking into account proposals from all interested parties. It deserves study and implementation by all parties on voluntary basis.

China participated in the multilateral consultations led by the EU on a draft International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities (ICOC) in a constructive manner. In order to conclude an ICOC that will be universally acceptable and effective, there should be an open, equal and inclusive negotiation process with clear mandate and rules of procedures within the UN framework. The ICOC should focus on peaceful uses of outer space, and should not undermine the right of all countries, particularly developing countries, to fair uses of outer space. Moreover, it should not dilute the work on PAROS in the Conference on Disarmament.

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese Government supports peaceful exploration and uses of outer space, and is dedicated to relevant international exchanges and cooperation. For years, China has constructively participated in the work of UN COPUOS. China has signed 87 bilateral space cooperation agreements with 29 countries, and provided satellite launch services for more than a dozen of countries. China is actively promoting commercial application of Beidounavigation satellite system across the Asia-Pacific region. We are also promoting regional space cooperation in the framework of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO).

Outer space is the common heritage of all mankind. China is ready to work closely with all parties to promote the benefits of peaceful uses of outer space, and to maintain the eternal peace and common security of outer space.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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