China's first non-governmental organization for disarmament, which was founded in Beijing yesterday, has vowed to work to strengthen arms control and the disarmament process in China and the rest of the world.
The China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA), is composed of key research institutions in the field and renowned experts and scholars from around China.
Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission Chi Haotian, Vice-Chairwoman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee He Luli, Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Zhu Guangya, among others, attended the meeting to mark the establishment of the association.
Qian said that a variety of NGOs have developed rapidly around the world and are playing an important part in political, economic, military, cultural and social areas on the international stage. They are becoming a voice that "no one can afford to ignore," he said.
Arms control and disarmament have been a focus of NGOs for many years and NGOs have asserted their influence in the arms control and disarmament process and relevant policy making and implementation, Qian said. He also spoke highly of the efforts made by Chinese non-governmental experts in their study and introduction of China's principled stance and policy in this regard to the outside world.
The establishment of the association is conducive to optimizing resources and promoting the development of arms control and disarmament research in the non-governmental sector, he said.
Chi Haotian, who is a state councillor and the defense minister, described the association as "a venue" for all people to get information, develop exchanges and strengthen cooperation.
Li Daoyu, former Chinese ambassador to the United States, assumed the presidency of the association. The CACDA plans to carry out research projects in arms control, disarmament and international security, organize exchange activities between Chinese and foreign research institutions and sponsor seminars.
(Xinhua News Agency 08/22/2001)