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Statement of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Discussion on

2021-10-14 10:51

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation will submit its thematic statements on nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, outer space, and conventional weapons to the Secretariat. At the same time, I would like to emphasize the following:

First, China firmly follows a nuclear strategy of self-defense, supports the ultimate comprehensive prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and supports the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Since the very first day when it came into possession of nuclear weapons, China has solemnly declared that it would not be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance, unconditionally committed itself not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and always kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for its national security. This policy has never changed and will not change. China advocates that nuclear disarmament should be a fair and reasonable process of gradual and balanced reduction on the basis of maintaining global strategic stability and undiminished security for all. The United States, in pursuit of absolute military advantage, keeps hyping up major-power competition, strengthens military alliances, makes huge investment in upgrading its nuclear triad, lowers the threshold for using nuclear weapons, and constantly develops and deploys global anti-missile system, undermining global strategic balance and stability. As the country that conducted most nuclear tests in the world and made largest investment in modernizing its nuclear arsenals, the United States should fulfill its special and primary responsibility in nuclear disarmament and further substantially reduce its nuclear weapons, to create conditions for other nuclear-weapon states to join nuclear disarmament process.

Second, China is concerned over the recent negative developments in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security. The nuclear-powered submarine cooperation between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia goes against the spirit of the NPT. Such cooperation will provoke arms races and aggravate regional tensions. The double standards of the United States and the United Kingdom on nuclear cooperation will bring persistent negative impact on the political and diplomatic settlement of regional nuclear hot-spot issues. The international community also has every reason to question whether Australia is serious about fulfilling its nuclear non-proliferation commitments. China urges the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia to change course and put a stop to such irresponsible behaviors. The disposal of nuclear contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident bears on the global marine ecology and public health. Japan should heed the voice of the international community, revoke the wrong decision of discharging nuclear contaminated water into the ocean, and properly address the major concerns of the international community.

Third, China is committed to maintaining the Biological Weapons Convention, and calls the international community to advance global governance on bio-security. The Foreign Ministers of China and Russia recently released a Joint Statement on Strengthening the BWC, which fully demonstrated the two countries’ strong determination and responsible attitude in preserving global bio-security and upholding multilateralism. China calls on the international community to work together for substantive outcomes in the upcoming Ninth BWC Review Conference. Conducting bio-scientific research in a responsible manner is crucial to reducing bio-security risks and ensuring benefit of mankind from bio-science. We call on all stake-holders to adopt voluntarily the Tianjin Bio-security Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for Scientists and look forward to its endorsement by the Ninth BWC Review Conference.

Forth, China will submit to the First Committee a draft resolution titled Promoting International Cooperation on Peaceful Uses in the Context of International Security, for the sake of ensuring the legitimate rights of all countries to peaceful uses of materials, equipment and technology. The objective of this initiative is to promote a balanced approach to relationship between non-proliferation and peaceful uses, and facilitate more comprehensive and balanced implementation of the BWC, the CWC and the NPT. We would like to express our sincere thanks to countries that have expressed support and confirmed co-sponsorship of this draft resolution, and hope all countries will actively support it and join co-sponsorship.

Fifth, China supports preventing the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space and ensuring that the outer space will not become a new battle field. Under the current situation, it is of great urgency to start the negotiation of a legally binding instrument on PAROS, which should not be replaced by voluntary measures. Pending the commencement of the negotiation, a technical expert group can be established in the Conference on Disarmament to discuss technical issues including definition, scope and verification, with a view to making preparations for the formal negotiation. The draft PPWT proposed by China and Russia provides a good basis in this regard. We are open to further discussions with all parties to improve the draft treaty.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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