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China Warns Against Efforts to Violate ABM Treaty

China said Tuesday that the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), the widely accepted cornerstone of global strategic stability, should be strictly observed.

The statement was made by Hu Xiaodi, the Chinese ambassador on disarmament, when he was speaking to the general debate of the First Committee of the 55th General Assembly session, which began in the United States Monday. The First Committee is in charge of disarmament and international security.

"This treaty has direct bearings on the security interest of all countries, and should be strictly observed," Hu said.

"Any move in violation of the ABM treaty, whatever disguise it takes, will undermine global strategic balance and stability, jeopardize trust between states, and produce far-reaching negative impacts on international peace, security and multilateral disarmament and arms control process," he said.

The ABM treaty, signed by the United States and the former Soviet Union in 1972, constitutes a cornerstone of global strategic stability, and goes far beyond the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship in its significance.

The General Assembly session last year adopted a resolution, titled "Preservation of and Compliance with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty," mirroring the hope of most countries in the world to maintain global strategic balance and stability.

Most countries in the world "wish to keep intact the efforts and achievements in the field of arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation since the end of the Cold War," he said. "They are reluctant to see the trust and cooperation between states being jeopardized by the national missile defense system (NMD)."

The United States is actively engaged in developing the missile defense system in order to seek its own absolute security superiority at the expense of the security of other member states.

US President Bill Clinton made a decision recently not to deploy a national missile defense system for the time being. However, the decision itself does not necessarily mean that Washington will give up the system.

"We think this is a wise decision," he said. "Meanwhile, we have also noticed that the NMD program has not yet been given up, and the research and development of this system is now still intensifying."

"As an important forum for international security and disarmament, the UNGA (UN General Assembly) First Committee should pay serious attention to this issue," he said.

At the current GA session, China will join Russia, Belarus and other countries in submitting a draft resolution on ABM treaty for the second time, he said. They submitted the draft last year and managed to have it adopted.

"We expect more countries to support this draft resolution, so as to contribute to the maintenance of global strategic balance and stability in a spirit of sincerity and cooperation," he said.

"We also hope that the United States will heed the appeals of the international community, consult other countries on this issue, and drop the NMD program as soon as possible."

(Xinhua 10/03/2000)

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