Full text of White Paper on Arms Control
III. Participating in and Promoting International Arms Control and Disarmament Process
China has always attached importance to and been supportive of international efforts in the arms control and disarmament field. To oppose arms races and strive for disarmament has been an important part of China's foreign policy ever since the founding of the People's Republic. China has successively joined and faithfully implemented relevant international arms control and disarmament treaties. It has actively participated in important activities in the field of arms control and disarmament, including relevant discussions and negotiations in the UN and relevant international agencies, putting forward many reasonable and feasible proposals in this regard in a serious effort to promote the international arms control and disarmament process.
As a nuclear-weapon state, China has never evaded its due responsibilities and obligations in nuclear disarmament.
China has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. Right after its first nuclear test in 1964, the Chinese government issued a statement, solemnly proposing to the governments of all countries the convocation of a world summit to discuss the issue of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.
China has persistently exercised the utmost restraint on the scale and development of its nuclear weapons. China has conducted the smallest number of nuclear tests among the five nuclear-weapon states. China has never taken part and will never take part in any nuclear arms race. China has never deployed nuclear weapons outside its own territories. In the 1990s, China closed down a nuclear weapon research and development base in Qinghai Province.
China's development of nuclear weapons has always been for the purpose of self-defense. Since the first day when it came into possession of nuclear weapons, the Chinese government has solemnly declared that it would not be the first to use such weapons at any time and in any circumstance. Whether confronted with the nuclear threat and nuclear blackmail during the Cold War, or faced with the great changes that have taken place in the international security environment after the Cold War, China has always stayed true to its commitment. China's policy in this regard will remain unchanged in the future.
China has been actively promoting the conclusion of a multilateral treaty among nuclear-weapon states on mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons against each other. In January 1994, China formally presented a draft text of the Treaty on the No-First-Use of Nuclear Weapons to the other four nuclear-weapon states. At the same time, China worked vigorously for arrangements among nuclear-weapon states on mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons and mutual detargeting of nuclear weapons at each other. In September 1994, China and Russia declared that they would not be the first to use nuclear weapons against each other and would not target their strategic nuclear weapons at each other. In June 1998, China and the US declared the detargeting of their nuclear weapons against each other. In May 2000, China, together with the other four nuclear-weapon states, issued a joint statement declaring that their nuclear weapons are not targeted at any country.
Ever since the first day when it came into possession of nuclear weapons, China has committed unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. In April 1995, the Chinese government made a statement, reiterating its unconditional provision of negative security assurances to all non-nuclear-weapon states, and at the same time undertaking to provide these countries with positive security assurances. In 2000, China and other nuclear-weapon states issued a joint statement, reaffirming their security assurance commitment made in Resolution 984 of the UN Security Council in 1995. China calls upon the other nuclear-weapon states to unconditionally provide positive and negative security assurances to all non-nuclear-weapon states, and to conclude, through negotiations, an international legal instrument to this end at an early date.
China respects and supports the efforts by relevant countries and regions to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones or WMD-free zones on the basis of consultations among themselves and voluntary agreements in light of actual regional conditions. China believes that nuclear-weapon states should respect the status of nuclear-weapon-free zones and assume corresponding obligations. Proceeding from this position, China has signed and ratified Protocol II of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, Protocols II and III of the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty and Protocols I and II of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty. China supports the efforts by the ASEAN countries and the five Central Asian countries to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones and is ready to sign relevant protocols as early as possible after the countries concerned have reached agreement on the texts. China supports endeavors to establish nuclear-weapon-free and WMD-free zones in the Middle East and hopes to see its early realization. China respects and welcomes Mongolia's status as a nuclear-weapon-free country. China supports denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
China has acceded to the Antarctic Treaty, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies and the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof, and has undertaken corresponding obligations.
China firmly supports the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). China has made significant contributions to the conclusion of the Treaty and was among the first to sign it. In July 1996, the Chinese government declared a moratorium on nuclear test, and has all long honored such commitment. China supports the early entry into force of the CTBT and hopes that all countries will sign and ratify it at an early date. Meanwhile, China appeals to nuclear-weapon states and other relevant countries to maintain the moratorium on nuclear test before the CTBT comes into force. Currently, China is working vigorously on its domestic legal procedures for the ratification of the CTBT, and has established competent national agency to prepare for its implementation. China has actively participated in the work of the CTBT Preparatory Commission and all previous Conferences on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT.
China supports the early start of the negotiation of a treaty on the prohibition of the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices on the basis of a comprehensive and balanced program of work to be reached by the CD in Geneva.
Biological and Chemical Weapons
China suffered a lot from the use of biological and chemical weapons by foreign countries in history. The chemical weapons abandoned by Japan on Chinese soil are still posing a grave and real threat to the lives and property of the Chinese people, and to the ecological environment.
China supports the efforts by the international community to ban biological and chemical weapons and has actively participated in the negotiations of relevant treaties or protocols. China has taken concrete actions to promote the process undertaken by the international community to achieve complete prohibition and thorough destruction of biological and chemical weapons.
China acceded to the BWC in 1984, and has always supported and actively participated in the multilateral endeavors aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of the Convention. China has actively participated in the BWC Review Conferences and submitted reports on compliance with the BWC. Since 1988, China has submitted to the UN its annual declarations on the confidence-building measures pursuant to relevant decisions of the Review Conferences. China has also played an active role in the negotiations on a protocol to the BWC as well as in the annual meetings of the States Parties and meetings of the experts.
China actively participated in the negotiations of the CWC and had called strongly for addressing the issues of prohibiting the use of chemical weapons and the proper disposal of abandoned chemical weapons within the framework of the Convention, making it an international legal instrument truly for the complete ban of chemical weapons.
As an original State Party to the CWC, China has made positive contributions to the effective implementation of the Convention and promotion of its universality. China has established and been constantly improving its national legislation and other measures for implementation of the Convention, as well as enhancing the capabilities of its National Authority. In accordance with the provisions of the Convention and the national conditions, China has set up implementation offices at both national and provincial levels, which constitute an effective nation-wide implementation system. In regions with advanced chemical industries, city and county level offices have also been established. China has, pursuant to the provisions of the Convention, submitted various categories of initial and annual declarations to the OPCW in a timely and comprehensive manner. By the end of June 2005, China has received 95 on-site inspections by the OPCW, the conclusions of which have all demonstrated that China has strictly implemented its obligations under the Convention.
The Chinese government has been constantly promoting the implementation of the CWC in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region. In 2004, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region started to implement the CWC, as the relevant implementation legislation was adopted and declarations were submitted to the OPCW through China's Central Government. Preparatory work for implementation of the CWC in the Macao Special Administrative Region, including implementation legislation, has registered steady progress. The Chinese government attaches importance to the implementation of the CWC in the Taiwan region of China and will continue to seek proper solution to the issue in accordance with the One China principle.
In 1999, the governments of China and Japan signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Destruction of the Chemical Weapons Abandoned by Japan in China. Currently, relevant work of disposing the chemical weapons abandoned by Japan has moved from the phase of theoretical research and experiment to that of construction and implementation. The two sides have reached agreement on issues like the destruction technologies and location of destruction facility. Specific environmental standards have, by and large, been worked out. The preparatory work for the excavation and recovery of the chemical weapons abandoned by Japan and construction of the destruction facility is currently under way as planned.
China takes an active part in the activities of the OPCW and has organized in China, jointly with the OPCW, three regional seminars on the implementation of the CWC and two training courses for inspectors. China also devotes itself to the promotion of economic and technological development in the chemical field, as well as trade and other international cooperation among States Parties for peaceful purposes.
Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS)
China has been vigorously calling for attention and efforts by the international community to prevent an arms race in and the weaponization of outer space. China stands for the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on PAROS by the CD in Geneva to negotiate an international legal instrument on PAROS. As a first step, the CD should set out to conduct substantive work on the issue of PAROS at an early date.
In 2000, China submitted to the CD a working paper entitled "China's Position on and Suggestions for Ways to Address the Issue of Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space at the Conference on Disarmament," pointing out that PAROS should be one of the top priorities on the CD's agenda, and proposing the reestablishment of the Ad Hoc Committee to negotiate an international legal instrument in this regard.
In June 2002, China, Russia, Belarus, Indonesia, Syria, Vietnam and Zimbabwe submitted to the CD a joint working paper entitled "Possible Elements for a Future International Agreement on the Prevention of Deployment of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects," putting forward specific proposals on the major elements for the future international legal instrument, which has gained wide support from many countries.
In August 2004, China and Russia jointly distributed two thematic papers at the CD, entitled "Existing International Legal Instruments and the Prevention of the Weaponization of Outer Space" and "Verification Aspects of Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space."
In March 2005, China and Russia, together w ith the UN Institute for Disarmament Research and the Simons Foundation of Canada, successfully hosted an international conference in Geneva on "Safeguarding Outer Space Security: Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space".
In June 2005, China and Russia jointly distributed a thematic paper at the CD, entitled "Definition Issues Regarding Legal Instruments on the Prevention of Weaponization of Outer Space."
China supports the important role played by the UN and other multilateral institutions in addressing missile and related issues. China advocates the establishment of a fair and non-discriminatory multilateral mechanism universally accepted by the international community in the field of missile non-proliferation. The UN Group of Governmental Experts on Missiles is the first specialized mechanism for addressing missile issues within the framework of the UN. China has participated in its work constructively.
China shares the non-proliferation objective of the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) and took an active part in the discussions on the draft of the HCOC. Although China has not joined the HCOC, it has kept in touch with all parties including the subscribing states to the HCOC, making joint efforts to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles.
China earnestly fulfills its obligation under the CCW and has been dedicated to enhancing its effectiveness and universality. China has always been deeply concerned about civilian casualties caused by inappropriate use of landmines, in particular anti-personnel landmines (APL). China supports appropriate and reasonable restrictions on the use of landmines, so as to prevent their indiscriminate use against civilians.
Since its accession to the Amended Protocol on Landmines, China has strictly implemented the provisions of the Protocol. Public awareness and education campaigns concerning the implementation of the Protocol have been launched. A series of new military standards as required by the Protocol have been adopted. A comprehensive survey of old or obsolete landmines has been conducted, and a phased program of modification or destruction of such landmines is implemented. To date, hundreds of thousands of old or obsolete landmines have been destroyed. China has observed in good faith its commitment declared in 1996 to a moratorium on export of APL that do not meet the requirements of the Protocol. In the 1990s, China conducted two large-scale de-mining operations in the border areas, thus basically eliminating landmine problems within its borders.
China fully understands and sympathizes with other countries' sufferings caused by landmines and has been actively engaged in international de-mining assistance and cooperation. Since 1998, China has participated in de-mining operations in about 10 countries in Asia and Africa through various forms of assistance, including financial donations, providing de-mining equipment and technical training. In 2004, China and the Australian Network of International Campaign to Ban Landmines co-sponsored a Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Cooperation Workshop in Kunming.
Though China is not a party to the Ottawa Convention, it endorses the humanitarian purposes and objectives of the Convention and has been constantly strengthening exchanges and communication with its States Parties.
China also attaches importance to the issue of anti-vehicle landmines (AVL). China is of the view that the issue of AVL should be addressed differently from that of APL, as the extent of the humanitarian concerns caused by AVL and APL are different. China is in favor of a multi-faceted approach to addressing the issue, taking into full account the specific situation and actual capacities of different countries.
China played a constructive role in the negotiation and conclusion of the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War and is in favor of its early entry into force. Currently, China is actively preparing for the ratification of this Protocol.
China supports multilateral efforts to combat the illicit trade in SALW and
has actively participated in the relevant work within the UN framework. China
played a constructive role in the negotiation of the Firearms Protocol and
signed the Protocol in December 2002. China supports and actively participated
in the negotiation of the UN Instrument on Identifying and Tracing Illicit SALW.
It has earnestly implemented the UN Program of Action on SALW and has submitted
its national reports in a timely manner. In April 2005, China hosted an
international workshop on SALW in Beijing, which was co-sponsored with the UN,
Japan and Switzerland.
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