China will continue working toward a complete prohibition of
biological weapons, and promoting the use of biotechnology for the
development of mankind, a senior Chinese official said in Geneva on
"The rapid development and enormous potential of biotechnology
and the life sciences have greatly contributed to the fight against
diseases and safeguarding the health of mankind," said Hu Xiaodi,
head of the Chinese delegation to the five-day 2005 Biological
Weapons Convention (BWC).
"However, they also have brought new challenges to the
prevention of bio-terrorism threats and the abuse of bio-research
for weapons purposes. In this new situation, scientists bear the
special and important duty of implementing the spirit of the BWC
and eliminating the threat of biological weapons," Hu said.
Exploring the appropriate code of conduct for scientists in the
multilateral framework of the BWC, regulating the behavior of
scientists, and helping the scientific community better understand
and voluntarily implement the BWC are of great significance to
promoting biological arms control, he added.
China upholds that in the light of different levels of economic
and scientific development and different management systems among
countries, it is appropriate for individual states, if necessary,
taking into account the national situation, to develop and improve
their own guidance codes for regulating the behavior of biological
scientists at the national level, he said.
Some of the elements that could be considered for inclusion, he
said, are that all individuals engaging in the life sciences
and related technologies be aware of and fully comply with the BWC
and undertake not to participate in or support activities
prohibited by the BWC; and the promulgation and adoption of
appropriate practices and procedures for biosafety and
"The rapid development of biotechnology, the probability of
cross-border infections and the danger of bio-terrorism remind us
of the necessity and urgency to strengthen the BWC," Hu said.
The convention, which has more than 150 signatory states, was
reached in 1972 and came into effect on March 26, 1975. China
became a signatory in 1984.
(Xinhua News Agency December 6, 2005)