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China reaffirms position on nuclear weapons, tests
( 2002-04-10 11:55 ) (8 )

China has long stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and has actively participated in all the preparatory work of the Complete Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Zhang Yan, Chinese Ambassador to UN and other international organizations in Vienna, said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the 17th session of the Preparatory Commission ( PreCom) for CTBTO, which opened Tuesday, Zhang, also head of the Chinese delegation at the meeting, noted that there have been certain recent negative developments that are at odds with the object and purpose of the treaty and incompatible with the PreCom' s efforts.

He cautioned that, as a result, the achievements registered over the years in arms control and non-proliferation may go down the drain.

"This cannot but arouse the concern of the international community," Zhang noted.

It is essential to create an enabling international environment for countries to trust and support the Complete Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Zhang said.

He called for international efforts to foster a new security concept of seeking security through cooperation, dialogue, mutual trust and development so as to eliminate the driving imperatives of certain countries to acquire and develop nuclear weapons and help renounce the nuclear deterrence strategy based on the first- use of nuclear weapons.

"It is imperative that the security of all countries be sought within the framework of cooperative and collective security and through dialogue and cooperation," Zhang noted.

China has taken an active part in the negotiations of the CTBT and is among the first batch of countries which signed the treaty, Zhang pointed out.

China has recently completed its legal procedures for the entry- into-force of the Protocol Additional to the Agreement between the People's Republic of China and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Safeguards, Zhang said, adding China is the very first among the five nuclear states to complete the legal procedures.

"All these have fully demonstrated the positive position China has taken on matters concerning nuclear-weapon test ban, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation," Zhang noted.

The PreCom for CTBTO was created in November 1996 with the responsibility for carrying out preparatory work for the treaty to take effect. Its members include all the signatory states to the CTBT.

So far, 165 countries have signed the CTBT and 90 countries have ratified it. The build-up of the verification regime of the treaty, especially the International Monitoring System, is well underway.

The 17th session of the PreCom for CTBTO is scheduled to conclude on April 12. 



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