China on Thursday called on all nations to promote the prevention of an arms race in outer space, warning that the development of weapons there could cause grave and negative consequences.
"The prevention of the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space has become ever more urgent," Hu Xiaodi, the Chinese ambassador on disarmament affairs, told a plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament held in Geneva.
"Due to its unique commanding position of height, outer space has been attached with an ever more important military and strategic value.
"The post-Cold-War international strategic environment has removed the restriction on 'occupying strategic commanding ground' in outer space. In addition, the rapid development of science and technology has also provided material conditions for outer space to become warfare platforms," Hu said.
But the development of weapons in outer space will bring about a series of grave and negative consequences, warned the ambassador.
It will disrupt strategic balance and stability, undermine international and national security, do harm to the existing arms control instruments, and seriously threaten the security of space assets and impair the biosphere of the Earth, he said.
However, confronted with such threats, the existing international legal regime on outer space has shown its loopholes and some legal instruments lack universality, Hu said.
In efforts to address the issue, the ambassador said various proposals and suggestions, including those put forward by China and Russia, are "food for thought."
In 2002, China and Russia tabled a joint working paper with the aim to provide the basis for negotiating and concluding a new legal instrument on outer space.
(Xinhua News Agency July 1, 2005)