Remarks by Director General Fu Cong at the Opening Session of the Third Training Course for the 1540 Points of Contact in the Asia-Pacific Region
Xiamen, China, 21 October 2019
Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, I would like to welcome you to the third Training Course for the 1540 Points of Contact in the Asia-pacific Region, and to this beautiful city of Xiamen. This event is co-hosted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the UN Security Council 1540 Committee and the UNODA. I want to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to the Committee and the UNODA. I would also like to thank the Xiamen Municipal Government for its strong support. Xiamen is one of China’s first four Special Economic Zones and is famous for its spirit of openness and pragmatism. I hope, in such a spirit, we will enhance communication and cooperation, and advance our joint efforts of non-proliferation in the Asia-pacific region.
Preventing proliferation of WMD and its means of delivery, which constitutes a major challenge for the international community, is of vital importance to regional and global peace, security and development. To tackle such global challenge, it is indispensable to pursue multilateralism under the guidance of the UN and with the solidarity of all UN member states. This is inherent in the spirit and letters of Resolution 1540 ever since it was adopted by the Security Council in 2004.
Over the past 15 years, great progress has been achieved in building international consensus on non-proliferation, improving international non-proliferation system and promoting international cooperation in countering proliferation activities by non-state actors. However, it is also obvious that the global security landscape is undergoing profound and complicated changes. The root causes of proliferation are far from being removed, and the risks of proliferation by non-state actors are getting more diversified. Practice of unilateralism and double standards in the field of international security is on the rise. Discrimination and politicization in multilateral non-proliferation regimes are getting more prominent. The legitimate right of developing countries to peaceful uses of science and technology has been unjustifiably restricted.
We need to view and address non-proliferation issues both from a historical perspective and with a forward-looking attitude. In 2021, the Security Council will conduct its next comprehensive review of the implementation of Resolution 1540, and decide on its future direction and priorities. Preparatory work is already underway. In this connection, and taking into consideration the comprehensive review and international non-proliferation efforts in the long run, I would like to share with you China’s views on non-proliferation:
Firstly, efforts should be made to create a more favorable international security environment. The specific causes of proliferation may vary. But they all come down to insecurity, instability and underdevelopment. The correct path to non-proliferation is through the adoption of a new concept of common, integrated, cooperative and sustainable security, a collaborative approach to development and security and the establishment of a fairer and more reasonable international order.
Secondly, the existing international non-proliferation system needs to be consolidated and improved. The authority, effectiveness and universality of the relevant treaties, such as the NPT, the CWC and the BWC should be further enhanced. The cartel-like modality and discriminatory practices of existing multilateral export control regimes should be abandoned in favor of establishing a more open and inclusive international export control mechanism. Efforts should be made to address the legitimate concerns of developing countries to fully tap the potentials of the developmental aspects of relevant treaties and regimes, in order to ensure that all countries can enjoy the benefits of the peaceful uses of science and technology while promoting the goal of non-proliferation.
Thirdly, the role of the United Nations should be given full play. The UN is the most universal and authoritative international organization. It is the best platform for coordinating international non-proliferation endeavors and assisting member states in strengthening non-proliferation efforts. To facilitate sustained, comprehensive and effective implementation of Resolution 1540, it is important to listen to the views of all member states, fully take into account the international obligations and actual national conditions of respective countries, ensure necessary input for technical assistance and international cooperation, including capacity building for Points of Contact.
Fourthly, multilateralism must be firmly upheld. In this connection, it is extremely alarming to note that the United States, out of its selfish geopolitical interest, is trying to re-introduce political ideology into the field of arms control and non-proliferation, while hyping up “great power competition” or even “clash of civilizations” as excuses for its unilateral withdrawal from international treaties and reneging on its international obligations. Slanderous accusations and unilateral sanctions with extraterritorial jurisdiction have been frequently used to demonize other countries and force them to comply with its unjustified or even illegitimate demands. Attempts are being made to even resuscitate the Cold War era specter of COCOM under the name of “Coalitions of Caution” for export control, aimed at hampering normal international technology exchanges and cooperation, through technological decoupling.
I wish to emphasize that in an age of globalization and in face of wide-spread security threats, no country can be safe on its own, and the global endeavor of non-proliferation won’t be effective without international cooperation. Development and prosperity depend on win-win cooperation. The days in which a few countries could monopolize key technologies are long gone. Any attempt to turn back the clock is doomed to fail and must be firmly resisted by the international community. Multilateralism is the best and only way to safeguard our common interests.
China was a victim of biological and chemical attacks and had been under the threat of nuclear weapons for a long period of time. China is firmly against the proliferation of WMD and its means of delivery. This is a strategic decision China has made which stems from the fundamental interests of itself and the future of all mankind. It is also consistent with the path of peaceful development China is pursuing and the building of a community of shared future for mankind. China will not deviate from the overall objective of non-proliferation, nor will it scale down its non-proliferation efforts. In the meantime, China is of the view that export control should neither be a disguise for trade barriers nor a tool for unilateral bullying. While committed to fulfilling international obligations and safeguarding national interests, China is dedicated to international exchanges and cooperation in science and technology, and is ready to share the benefits of its development with the rest of the world.
For decades, China has been strictly fulfilling its international obligations, firmly defending multilateralism and actively promoting global security governance. China supports the leading role of the UN in international non-proliferation efforts. It has extensively participated in the implementation process of Resolution 1540 and actively promoted resolving hot-spot issues such as the Korean Peninsula and Iran nuclear issues through political and diplomatic means. China strongly supports international cooperation in the field of non-proliferation export control, highly values exchanges with all stakeholders to learn from each other, and has, to the extent possible, provided public goods for the international community. This training course is a typical example of such contribution. China is also willing to enhance exchanges and cooperation with multilateral export control regimes on the basis of balanced rights and obligations.
China attaches great importance to constantly improving its national non-proliferation system. The Chinese government is now actively strengthening national non-proliferation legislation, which is aimed at integrating existing laws and administrative regulations in the field of nuclear, biological, chemical and missile non-proliferation, and setting up guiding principles and objectives for non-proliferation through legislation. China is dedicated to domestic non-proliferation export control institution building, focusing on better coordination among government agencies at all levels to improve effectiveness of law enforcement. China has also increased its input of resources in non-proliferation export control, particularly for promoting awareness raising and capacity building among government officials and other stakeholders such as enterprises, think tanks and people directly involved in production and trade of sensitive materials and technologies.
The 1540 Points of Contact are responsible for promoting domestic communication and coordination as well as international cooperation, which is of great significance to the implementation of Resolution 1540. The effectiveness of implementation hinges on enhanced capacity of PoCs. That is why China, in cooperation with the Committee and the UNODA, hosted the first PoCs training in 2015, which has become a good example in the implementation process of the resolution and an important platform of cooperation between China and the Committee.
During this training course, representatives from international organizations and multinational export control regime will make presentations on every aspect of the implementation of Resolution 1540, including national legislation, enforcement, accounting and physical protection. Meanwhile, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense and General Administration of Customs of China will present the practice and achievements China has made in non-proliferation. We will also visit the Xiamen Customs. I believe that all of us will benefit from this training course. We are open to your advice and suggestions.
Finally, I wish this training course a great success, and wish all of you a pleasant stay in China.