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Statement by H.E. Ambassador FU Cong of China at the Thematic Discussion on Nuclear Disarmament at the First Committee of the 70th Session of the UNGA

2015-10-20 04:03

Mr. Chairman,

As the longstanding and relentless pursuits of the international community, complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and elimination of the threat of nuclear war serve the common interest of humanity.

China firmly sticks to a path of pursuing peaceful development, and adopts an open, transparent and responsible nuclear policy. China has consistently advocated and promoted complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.

China adheres to a nuclear strategy of self-defence, and has always kept its nuclear force at the minimal level required by its national security. China has never threatened and will never threaten any state, or target any state with its nuclear weapons. We do not provide nuclear umbrella for other states, nor do we deploy nuclear weapons on the soil of other states, nor engage in any form of nuclear arms race.

China faithfully abides by its undertaking not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones under any circumstances, and vigorously promotes the conclusion of a multilateral treaty among nuclear weapon states in this regard. We believe that this is in itself an important practical action for nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Chairman,

Under the above policies, China is committed to the process of international nuclear disarmament, and has made continued contributions.

During the past years, China has voted for important nuclear disarmament resolutions at the UNGA and supported the Conference on Disarmament in its effort to start substantive work on related agenda items such as nuclear disarmament, negative security assurances, etc. in a comprehensive and balanced manner.

China respects and supports the international efforts in establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones. This April, the National People's Congress of China ratified the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia. The ratification instrument has been deposited. China has solved all the outstanding issues relating to the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone with ASEAN states, and is ready to sign the Protocol at an early date and provide assistance to settle divergences between ASEAN and other nuclear weapon states in this regard. China respects and will continue its support for Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status.

China supports the purposes and principles of the CTBT. China has strictly abided by its commitment to a moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions, and is dedicated to promoting the early entry into force of the Treaty. China has actively taken part in all the work of CTBTO Preparatory Commission, and is steadily preparing for the national implementation of the Treaty. China stands for concluding a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally effectively verifiable FMCT as early as possible in CD on the basis of the Shannon mandate. China has actively conducted research on verification measures and related technical tools for nuclear arms control, and engaged in extensive exchanges with relevant parties.

China attaches importance to the issue of transparency and CBMs. In recent years, China has issued several white papers and submitted to the NPT review conferences its national reports, elaborating China's nuclear strategy, policies and related efforts. As an important outcome of the P5 cooperation, China played a leading role in the establishment of the P5 Working Group on the Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms, and submitted the Glossary to this year's NPT Review Conference.

Mr. Chairman,

China believes that, to further advance the international nuclear disarmament process, efforts should be made by the international community in the following areas:

First, universal security should become the guiding principle. We should be steadfast in our pursuit of peace and development, foster a new international relationship featuring win-win cooperation, reduce confrontation and mistrust between countries and abandon the outdated Cold War mentality and zero-sum games, so as to eradicate the root causes of the existence and proliferation of nuclear weapons and forge a community of common destiny based on universal security.

Second, nuclear disarmament should be pursued through an incremental approach. Nuclear weapon states should commit themselves to the effective implementation of their obligations under Article 6 of the NPT and undertake not to seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to drastically reduce their nuclear stockpiles in a verifiable, irreversible and legally binding manner. When conditions are ripe, all nuclear weapon states should join the multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiation process.

Third, the role of nuclear weapons in national security policies should be effectively reduced. Pending the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, nuclear weapon states should commit not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones. An international legal instrument to this effect should be negotiated. Nuclear weapon states should honor their commitment not to target their nuclear weapons against any state, and take all necessary precautions to avoid accidental or unauthorized launch of nuclear weapons. The relevant states should abandon the policy and practice of providing nuclear umbrella and nuclear sharing and withdraw all their nuclear weapons deployed overseas.

Four, strategic balance and stability must be safeguarded. The principles of maintaining the global strategic balance and stability and undiminished security for all must be upheld. The practice of seeking absolute strategic advantage should be abandoned, and development and deployment of missile defense systems, which are detrimental to global and regional strategic stability, must be ceased.

Mr. Chairman,

As the three pillars of the NPT, nuclear disarmament, nuclear nonproliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be promoted in a balanced manner. Efforts to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons should not jeopardize the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy; meanwhile, peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be taken, neither as the excuse for disregard of nuclear security, nor as the pretext of nuclear proliferation.

Over the years, Japan has accumulated a huge amount of sensitive nuclear materials, giving rise to grave risks both in terms of nuclear security and nuclear proliferation. At present, Japan possesses about 1200 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) and about 47.8 tons of separated plutonium, among which 10.8 tons are stored on Japanese territory, enough to make 1350 nuclear warheads. The current stockpile of nuclear materials of Japan far exceeds its legitimate needs. This situation not only contravenes to Japan’s proclaimed policy of “no excess plutonium” and its own proposal to reduce the use of HEU, but also violates the relevant rules and guidelines of the IAEA and the purposes and objectives of the Nuclear Security Summit. Obviously, such a situation is a cause of grave concern for the international community. Recently, the study reports[1] published respectively by the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association and the US Carnegie Endowment for International Peace have provided a detailed analysis of this issue.

Twenty years after announcement of its “no excess plutonium” policy, Japan’s total amount of separated plutonium was doubled rather than reduced. Against this background, instead of taking any serious step to reassure the world, Japan is taking the following actions which further aggravate the situation: first, Japan restarted the first nuclear power unit this August; second, Japan plans to start in March 2016 operation of Rokkasho reprocessing plant, with a designed capacity to produce 8.9 tons of separated plutonium annually. Given the lack of feasible ways to consume these materials, it can be predicted that the imbalance of supply and demand of nuclear materials in Japan will aggravate further. On top of these, despite the fact that, in March 2014 Japan promised to return 331 kg of weapon-grade plutonium and part of its HEU to the US, so far, we have not seen any progress reported in this regard.

Meanwhile, we have also noted with concern that, over the years, some political forces in Japan have continuously clamored for the development of nuclear weapons, claiming that Japan should have nuclear weapons if it wants to be a power that could sway the international politics.

In light of all these developments, we strongly urge the Japanese government to respond to the concerns of the international community in a responsible manner and take concrete measures to address the existing problems. For this has a significant bearing on the international nonproliferation system, nuclear safety and security as well as prevention of the threat of nuclear terrorism.

Mr. Chairman,

China is ready, together with the international community, to continue its unremitting efforts for the realization of the ultimate goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.


[1] The report published by the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association can be downloaded at: http://www.cacda.org.cn/a/xiehuihuodong/20151010/3731.html;

the report published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace can be downloaded at: http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/09/29/wagging-plutonium-dog-japanese-domestic-politics-and-its-international-security-implications/ii96.

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