Statement by H.E. Mr. Fu Cong, Head of the Chinese Delegation and Director-General of the Department of Arms Control of MFA, at the 2019 Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
New York, 25th September 2019
At the outset, I would like to congratulate Algeria and Germany, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, on your election as the co-presidents of this Conference. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my appreciations to Iraq and Belgium as the outgoing co-presidents, to Executive Secretary Dr. Lassina Zerbo of the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Prepcom for CTBTO and his team, for their tremendous efforts.
Since the conclusion of CTBT twenty-three years ago, the Treaty has become a key pillar for the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation architecture. It has been crucial in curbing a nuclear arms race and safeguarding international peace and security. We are pleased to note that since the last Conference, the universality of CTBT has been improved, the preparations for its implementation has come a long way and the international consensus on a nuclear test ban has been enhanced, which has injected a political impetus for the entry into force of the Treaty.
On the other hand, the world is grappling with rising unilateralism and acts of hegemonism in the current international relations, which have undermined international security. A certain big power has returned to the cold war mentality, adopted a more aggressive nuclear strategy and kept unilaterally withdrawing from and renegading on multilateral agreements. It has lowered the threshold of using nuclear weapons and upgraded its nuclear force. The country has not only made it clear that it will not push for the ratification of the Treaty, but has also shifted its responsibilities onto other countries, claiming that it will resume nuclear testing if necessary.
Such negative moves have not only dampened the prospects for CTBT’s entry into force, but also further undermined global strategic security and stability.
The 10th Review Conference of NPT will be convened next year, which also marks the 50th anniversary of the Treaty’s entry into force as well as the 25th anniversary of its indefinite extension. CTBT and NPT are closely linked with each other. NPT’s indefinite extension constitutes an important prerequisite for the conclusion of CTBT. We need to join hands to uphold multilateralism, make unremitting efforts to enhance the international nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation regime with NPT as its cornerstone and push for the early entry into force of CTBT. In this connection, China would like to propose the following:
Firstly, foster a security-for-all international environment to strengthen the basis for the Treaty’s entry into force. In international relations, countries should respect each other, carry out consultation on an equal footing, and resolutely reject the cold war mentality and power politics. They must persist in resolving their disputes and differences through dialogue and consultation, and eliminate the root causes of the possession and proliferation of nuclear weapons in order to create a favourable political environment for the early entry into force of the Treaty.
Secondly, safeguard the existing international arms control and nonproliferation architecture to solidify the institutional guarantee for CTBT’s entry into force. Countries should respect and safeguard the international order based on international law, faithfully honour their international obligations and commitments, and oppose the practice of double standards and placing domestic laws above international laws so that the authority and seriousness of the existing international arms control regime is effectively upheld.
Thirdly, support the purposes and objectives of CTBT to create favourable conditions for the Treaty’s entry into force. Countries should effectively diminish the role of nuclear weapons in their national security strategy and scrupulously honour the commitment to a moratorium on nuclear tests, pledge the no-first-use of nuclear weapons and unconditionally commit themselves not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states.
Fourthly, advance the preparations for the implementation of CTBT to lay the foundation in capacity for the Treaty’s entry into force. We should continue to promote, in a comprehensive and balanced manner, the construction of the three pillars of the Treaty, namely, the International Data Centre, International Monitoring System and On-site Inspection Regime, to provide technical backstopping for the Treaty’s entry into force.
China remains committed to the path of peaceful development. Since the very first day when it came into possession of nuclear weapons, China has solemnly declared that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance, and has unconditionally committed itself not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones.
China is among the first signatories of CTBT. It has had the fewest nuclear test explosions compared with other nuclear-weapon states. Since it declared the moratorium in 1996, the Chinese government has all along faithfully honoured its commitment and has never wavered in its political support for the Treaty. China has actively engaged in international efforts aimed at facilitating the entry into force of CTBT. It has supported the CTBT-related resolutions at successive GA sessions. I would like to reiterate that China will not be an obstacle to the entry into force of the Treaty.
In recent years, thanks to the joint efforts with PTS, China has made great strides in its domestic preparation for the implementation of CTBT. Five CTBT monitoring stations in China have been certified by PTS and have started real-time data transmission, which reflects China’s firm support for the purposes and objectives of the Treaty and its major contribution to improving the Treaty’s verification regime. Meanwhile, China has deeply and comprehensively engaged in the work of the Prepcom for the Treaty organization, offered financial support to the Prepcom’s pilot project for the participation of experts from developing countries in its official technical meetings, and has carried out sound cooperation with PTS in equipment research and development, and in the hosting of workshops.
Our world today is experiencing a sea change unseen in a century. No matter how the international situation may change, China will stay committed to multilateralism, continue to promote international peace and development, and work with all parties to build a community with shared future for mankind. China will continue its active participation in international cooperation and push for a stronger international consensus on the nuclear test ban by contributing to the promotion of the Treaty’s entry into force and by working relentlessly towards the lofty goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.
Thank you, Co-presidents.