November 22, 2002

China Calls on UN to Continue to Scrutinize NMD Development

China Monday called upon the United Nations to continue to scrutinize the US efforts to develop the National Defense System (NMD) and take necessary steps to prevent this dangerous situation from going further.

The statement was contained in the speech by Wang Yingfan, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, at the 56th General Assembly session, which considers "the Report by the UN Secretary on the Work of the Organization."

"A series of negative development in recent years in the field of international security have led the multilateral disarmament and arms control process into a stalemate, a situation that caused wide concerns in the international community," he said.

In his report, Annan said that the deployment of NMD will constitute a threat to the current and future disarmament and nonproliferation efforts. "China agrees with the secretary-general 's analysis of the deployment of NMD and its consequences in his report," Wang said.

The efforts to develop and deploy NMD will surely undermine the Anti-Ballistic Treaty (ABM Treaty), signed by the United States and the then Soviet Union in 1972, which long serves as the cornerstone for maintaining the strategic balance and stability in the world.

"The ABM Treaty not only involves the signatory countries but also bears great importance and relevance to maintaining global strategic balance and stability as well as promoting international disarmament and nonproliferation process," Wang said. "The success of the international disarmament and nonproliferation efforts depends on the maintenance and observance of this treaty."

Both the 54th and 55th sessions of the General Assembly have adopted resolutions on "Preservation of and Compliance with the ABM Treaty," with an overwhelming majority, demonstrating that most countries in the world demand that the concerned countries must maintain and strictly abide by the ABM Treaty, he said.

"The development of anti-missile system using the outer-space as a base, which will bring the arms race from the land and oceans to the outer-space, has very serious consequences," he said.

"Therefore, it has become an urgent and relevant task to reach through negotiations an international legal instrument on the prevention of arms race in outer-space," he said.

The General Assembly has, for each of the past many years, adopted with an overwhelming majority a resolution on the prevention of arms race in the outer-space, he said. "The Conference on Disarmament should make this an issue of priority and start relevant negotiations immediately."

"It is the common aspiration of people of all countries in the world as well as an important task for the international community to promote nuclear disarmament process and realize a nuclear- weapon-free world at an early date," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency 09/25/2001)

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