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Nuclear Disarmament I

Maintaining the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and striving for a nuclear-weapon-free world.

On July 31,1963, the Chinese Government issued a statement calling for all the nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states in the world to solemnly pledge to prohibit and destroy nuclear weapons in a complete, thorough, clear-cut and resolute manner. Soon after conducting the first nuclear weapon test on October 16, 1964, the Chinese Government issued a statement proposing that a world summit meeting be convened to discuss the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.

On March 26, 1999, the then President Jiang Zeming delivered an important statement at the Conference on Disarmament emphasizing that we should make joint efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. Ambassador Hu Xiaodi, head of the Chinese delegation, pointed out in his statement at the First Committee of the 56th UNGA that since human beings invented nuclear weapons in the 20th century, they should eliminate these weapons in the 21st century. The above-mentioned statements indicate China's firm stand for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

China has long been advocating the conclusion of an international legal instrument on the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. In 1994, H.E. Mr. Qian Qichen, the then vice premier and foreign minister, delivered a statement at the 49th UNGA advocating the negotiation, conclusion and signing of a convention banning nuclear weapons. At the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 NPT Review Conference held in April 2004, China submitted a working paper titled "Proposals on Nuclear Disarmament and Reduction of the Danger of Nuclear War", calling for the nuclear-weapon states to commit themselves to the early complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and to conclude an international legal instrument thereon.

China maintains that the states possessing the largest nuclear arsenals undertake special responsibilities for nuclear disarmament, therefore should take the lead in drastically reducing their nuclear arsenals and delivery means and should destroy those disarmed nuclear weapons. Nuclear disarmament should follow the principles of effective verification, irreversibility and legally binding force. Nuclear disarmament measures should aim at maintaining the global strategic stability and uncompromised security for all states, so as to create conditions for other nuclear-weapon states to join the nuclear disarmament process. The role of nuclear weapons in national security policy should be reduced, and the nuclear deterrence policy based on the first-use of nuclear weapons should be abandoned. The nuclear-weapon states should abide by their commitment to neither target their nuclear weapons at any state nor list any state as nuclear attack target. No nuclear weapons should be deployed on overseas territories, and those states that have done so should withdraw their nuclear weapons completely. No efforts should be made to develop and deploy missile defense systems detrimental to the global strategic balance and stability, and no weapon systems should be deployed in outer space. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) should enter into force at an early date, and the negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) should be commenced as early as possible.

Over the years, China has voted in favor of relevant UNGA resolutions such as "Toward a Nuclear-weapon-free World: A New Agenda," "Nuclear Disarmament" and "Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons." China supports the efforts by the Conference on Disarmament to set up ad hoc committees on nuclear disarmament, negative security assurances and prevention of an arms race in outer space, and to carry out substantive work on nuclear disarmament issues. China supports and attaches importance to the nuclear disarmament measures contained in the final document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, and seriously implements those measures.

Chinese Government Statement on Nuclear Weapon Policy by the People's Daily on October 16, 1964.

(China.org.cn May 12, 2005)

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