|Statement by Ambassador WANG Qun, Director-General of the Arms Control Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 70th Session of the UNGA|
Let me begin by congratulating you, Mr. Chairman, on your election to the chairmanship of the First Committee of the General Assembly. I am confident that your rich diplomatic experience and wisdom will help steer the session to a success, and my delegation wish to assure you of our full cooperation.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. Seventy years ago, people from various countries fought hard against Fascism and won victory with huge sacrifice, laying down a solid foundation for the enduring peace after the war. Both history and reality have proven that the pursuit of peace, development and cooperation meets the common aspirations of people around the world and is thus an unstoppable historical trend.
Today, peace and development have become the theme of the times, and the human society has increasingly become a community of integrated interests and shared future. Meanwhile, the world is still not tranquil, with lingering wars, turbulence and rising non-traditional security threats, such as cyber security issue, terrorism, extremism and epidemics. To meet these challenges is a vital task for all countries.
Against the new backdrop, Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed to build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and advocated a new approach of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. China believes that all countries should follow the historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation, take a new path of security, which is built by all, shared by all, win-win for all and safeguarded by all, and build a community of common destiny for all mankind.
China always honors its commitments. China has persisted in advancing the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process, and worked hard to uphold world peace and stability.
First, China’s firm commitment to peaceful development will never change.
To pursue peaceful development is not based on expediency, but rather our objective assessment of the past, the present and the future, and it is deep rooted in the peace-loving tradition of the Chinese nation. On the basis of the previous 10 rounds of troop cuts, President Xi Jinping recently announced that China will further cut the number of the troop by 300,000. This embodies China’s firm commitment to peaceful development, and also its earnest efforts for maintenance of the world peace.
Second, China’s active participation in the global nuclear governance will never change.
China has strongly supported the nuclear disarmament process, resolutely upheld the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and firmly committed itself to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. China has timely ratified the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia; it has also worked out all the outstanding problems pertaining to the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone with ASEAN states, and is ready for the early signature of the Protocol. In negotiations of the Iranian nuclear issue, China, for its part, contributed its wisdom and played a crucial role in helping bringing about the historic comprehensive agreement. China will continue to push for the smooth implementation of the comprehensive agreement.
Third, China’s pivotal role in advancing the biological and chemical arms control process will never change.
As a victim of chemical weapons and a state party to Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC )with the largest amount of declared chemical facilities, China has faithfully implemented its obligations under the CWC, and made its best in the provision of assistance, through international cooperation, to other state parties for enhancement of the latter’s the compliance capacity. China has provided experts and facilities for the verification of destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and taken part in the joint shipments escorting of Syria’s chemical weapons and made its due contribution in facilitating the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. As a state member to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), China has submitted timely CBM declaration materials, continued to improve its national compliance mechanism, and actively conducted international exchanges and cooperation in the biological field.
Fourth, China’s strong support for establishing the rules and norms for international security will never change.
There are now still no effective international legal instruments on such issues of outer space, cyber security and banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons. It has thus become a major task for the international community to address such lacunae by working out the rules or norms on the front of international security. China has, for its part, actively participated in the process of formulation of the relevant international rules or norm. China will continuously advance in the CD the discussions of the draft of the Treaty on Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and of the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects (PPWT), and wishes to see an early conclusion of a negotiated FMCT in the CD. In the meantime, China also supports efforts be channeled towards the early conclusion of an international code of conduct on cyberspace.
Fifth, China’s responsible approach to conventional arms control obligations will never change.
China has faithfully implemented its obligations under the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its annexed protocols. China has actively engaged in international humanitarian demining cooperation, and provided humanitarian demining assistance, in various forms, to over 40 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This year, apart from offering demining assistance to Myanmar and Cambodia, China will hold a joint training demining session for Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Zambia.
Arms control and disarmament are closely linked with international security. It is thus the shared responsibility and obligation of all countries to further advance the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process, and make their due contribution to a mankind with security for all. In this context, China has the following proposals:
First, it is essential that the integrity and authority of the international arms control and non-proliferation regime be further strengthened. To ensure the fairness, equality and universality of the international arms control and non-proliferation regime, the international community should work to uphold the principles of consensus, and of undiminished security for all. Meanwhile, the international community should, in the light of the new situation, work to explore innovative ways and formulas, while building on past achievements, to break the deadlock without prejudice to the authority of multilateral disarmament organ.
Second, it is important to properly address the challenges brought about as a result of new technology developments to the international arms control process. Progress in science and technology have indeed benefited mankind, but its military application has, in the meantime, posed immerse potential risks and threats to the security and even the survival of mankind. The international community should adhere to the principle of security for all, abandon the practice of pursuing absolute military advantage, carry out preventive diplomacy, check the emerging arms race in the hi-tech field, and safeguard international peace and stability.
Third, it is important to fill up the vacuum of international rules or norms concerning new security frontier issues as soon as possible. Issues such as outer space, cyberspace, deep sea and polar regions not only affect the well-being of mankind, but also bear on the security of all countries. The absence of international rules in these fields has incurred risks of the law of the jungle. Apart from the rules in the relevant traditional arms control fields, we should also intensify our cooperation, through consultation, in formulation and improvement of international rules or norms, so as to ensure the peaceful development and use of such new frontiers to the benefit of the entire mankind.
The cyber security has now become such a prominent and sensitive issue which is increasingly higher on international security agenda with a closer link between the cyberspace and the real world we are living. Against such a backdrop, it is highly necessary and pressing for the international community to jointly bring about an international code of conduct on cyberspace at an early date.
The cyberspace is an anonymous and flat space with no borders. But such a character has not changed the international law and basic norms governing international relations which have underpinned international peace and security for 70 years. China believes that, for an international code of conduct on cyberspace acceptable to all, the following principles are very important: first, to comply with the UN Charter and other universally recognized basic norms governing international relations; second, to respect the cyberspace sovereignty of each state; third, to resolve the international disputes in this field by peaceful means; forth, to ensure the cyberspace only to be utilized for activities for the maintenance of international peace and security; fifth, cyberspace should not be used as a means to interfere in the internal affairs of other states or to the detriment of the latter’s national interests.
China commands the work of the UN GGE on information security, and welcomes its latest report. China expects that this cooperative mechanism will keep its momentum by focusing its work at the next stage on working out something in a nature of an international code of conduct on cyberspace. China, for its part, will continue to commit itself to establishing a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace and pushing for an early international code of conduct acceptable to all.
China is working hard to realize the Chinese dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation. Under such guidance, China is committed to upholding world peace, security, harmony and prosperity. And China will take a more pro-active role in the process of advancing international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, so as to safeguard and promote the well-being of mankind.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.