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China Stresses Arms Control, Disarmament and Demining

China's Ambassador on Disarmament Affairs told an international conference in Geneva on Thursday that, faced with various security challenges, the international community should safeguard and strengthen multilateral arms control and its disarmament legal system.

"The Convention on the Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects is an organic component of multilateral arms control and the disarmament legal system," said Hu Xiaodi.

Compared with other arms control treaties, the convention bears distinct humanitarian characteristics, he said, by relieving disaster brought by wars and armed conflicts, and addressing humanitarian concerns through appropriately regulating and restricting the use of certain conventional weapons.

Hu added that the convention was a model of multilateralism and had all along maintained its vitality since it came into force 25 years ago.

"The purposes and objectives of the convention have been more universally recognized, and its universality and effectiveness have been increasingly strengthened," said Hu.

As for the issue of compliance, Hu said discussions to date have been fruitful and conducive to understanding.

"The way ahead becomes clearer in spite of the fact that a consensus has not been reached. A Chinese delegation is ready to continue work with a constructive attitude," he said.

He emphasized that China had all along attached great importance to all work in support of the convention and faithful implementation of its obligations, and had made constructive contributions to its implementation and improvement.

"Since the ratification of the Amended Landmine Protocol in 1998, China has been earnestly fulfilling its obligations under the Protocol," he said.

"In the 1990s, China conducted two large-scale demining operations in its border areas, basically eliminating landmine problems within its borders. After the demarcation of the land border between China and Vietnam, to assist relevant work concerning border surveys and mark erecting, the Chinese army launched a new operation to clear mines in former disputed areas that have been demarcated as Chinese," Hu said.

China has also been actively participating in international demining assistance operations, he added.

"In September 2005, the government launched a program of demining assistance to Thailand. This mainly includes training Thai personnel and donating equipment. At present, China is preparing to provide demining assistance to Lebanon," said Hu.

Exploring new approaches to push forward the international demining process, he said China has also kept close contact with non-governmental organizations, such as International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining and International Red Cross.

(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2005)

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