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Statement of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Discussion on Outer Space at the First Committee of the 74th Session of the UNGA

2019-10-29 06:34

Mr. President ,

The Chinese delegation aligns itself with the statements made by NAM, Arab League of States, ASEAN, (CIS) and many other countries, which all called for the prevention of weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. This is an overwhelming demand from the international community.

Outer space is the common heritage of humankind. With the exploration of outer space, and the development and wide application of space technology, this domain is becoming ever more interconnected with the community of the shared future for humankind. During the past 40 years, the UNGA has adopted resolutions on PAROS with an overwhelming majority annually, and the CD has been working on the agenda. It has already been the consensus among the international community to negotiate relevant international legally-binding instrument at the CD. The prevention of weaponization of and an arms race in outer space must be the prerequisite for maintaining security in outer space. Without it, there will never be peace in outer space. Faced with new international security situation, all countries should learn lessons from history, and abandon the Cold War mentality. We should firmly oppose the weaponization of outer space, avoid being entrapped in an arm race in outer space.

Promoting multilateralism and supporting UN as the main channel for discussion has been the major element in all outer space resolutions adopted by the UNGA. China and Russia have jointly submitted to the CD and actively promoted the draft of the “Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects”(PPWT), which clearly prohibits placement of any weapons in outer space, as well as any use or threat of force against space objects. This is a practical choice presented by China and Russia under the current historical context. The timely adoption of an international legally-binding instrument could prevent the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. We welcome all parties to make suggestions and contribute ideas, so that we could jointly perfect the draft and make it a foundation for negotiation in the CD. We also value and will make due considerations to any initiatives and proposals that are conducive to the negotiation of a legally-binding instrument in the CD. However, one point must be made clear, any of these initiatives should not abandon the general objective of PAROS, and should not deviate from the direction of negotiating a legally-binding instrument.

Proper and feasible TCBMs for space activities will help enhancing mutual trust, reducing miscalculations and regulating space activities. However, the TCBMs have their own limitations, and thus should not replace the negotiation of an international legally-binding instrument. China supports all parties in researching and implementing on voluntary basis the outcome of the report adopted by the UN GGE on Outer Space TCBMs in 2013.

Mr. President,

The Chinese government has always been proposing the peaceful use of outer space, and firmly opposes the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. China will never be part of such an arms race, be it in the past, at present, or in the future. The Chinese delegation categorically rejects the accusations from the U.S. delegation, and I will exercise our right to reply later. China stands ready to make efforts with all parties, to practice the concept of building a Community of Shared Future for Humankind in the field of outer space, and make contribution to safeguarding lasting peace and common security in outer space.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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