Uphold International Consensus on Nuclear-Test-Ban, Safeguard International Peace and Security
– Statement by H.E. Ambassador Wang Qun, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the 2017 Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT
New York, 20 September 2017
Please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, to congratulate Iraq and Belgium for their election as the co-presidents of this Conference. I would also like to express my thanks to Kazakhstan and Japan as outgoing co-presidents, to the PTS of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Treaty (CTBT), and to the organizations and individuals that have made unremitting efforts for the early entry-into-force of the CTBT.
Since its conclusion twenty-one years ago, the CTBT has become one of the pillars of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, and has made indelible contribution to forestalling nuclear arms race, reducing the risks of nuclear war and safeguarding international peace and security. We are pleased to see that since the last Conference, the Treaty has become more universalised, and the preparation for its implementation has come a long way with an enhanced international consensus on supporting the Treaty. And it has become an overwhelming consensus and subsequently concerted action of the entire international community to oppose nuclear test explosions.
In the meantime, the international community has also seen more complexity in the current international security landscape, with mounting challenges to global strategic stability. Certain individual countries still conducted nuclear test explosions even after the conclusion of the Treaty, while certain other country is considering reducing its financial support to the PTS. All such negative trends have made it even more urgent for the early entry-into-force of the CTBT.
Despite the abundant efforts by the international community put into promoting the entry-into-force of the CTBT, the final goal is still elusive. We should nevertheless not lose our confidence, we should, instead, adopt a positive, rational and dialectic approach in looking at the prospect of the Treaty. Our unremitting efforts in enhancing global security, it should be noted, are gradually paying off, and has subsequently laid a solid foundation for a further enhanced international arms control and nonproliferation regime. In promoting the early entry-into-force of the CTBT, it is even more imperative that the authority, universality and effectiveness of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) be safeguarded and enhanced in earnest, with the caveat that the indefinite extension of the NPT constituted an important prerequisite for the conclusion of the CTBT, and these two factors are closely linked with each other. To adopt multiple standards or take a utilitarianist attitude towards the NPT are utterly undesirable. Moreover, such a practice will seriously undercut international endeavors to achieve the goal of total ban on nuclear test explosions.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his address at the United Nations Office at Geneva last January, outlined the Chinese notion of "building a community of shared future for mankind, and achieving shared and win-win development", and championed to build a world of lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity through dialogue and consultation, and to cooperate for shared benefits and a win-win situation. Facilitating the early entry-into-force of the CTBT represents an important step in promoting the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. To this end, China would like to propose the following:
Firstly, to pursue security for all and do away with any root causes of the possession and proliferation of nuclear weapons, so as to foster a favorable international security environment for the early entry-into-force of the CTBT.
Secondly, to intensify institutional build up for the entry-into-force of the CTBT, refrain from practices of utilitarianism or multiple standards, and work in concerted efforts to safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the existing international nuclear nonproliferation system.
Thirdly, to inject political vitality into the CTBT. The P-5 should honour the moratoria commitments they have entered into on nuclear test explosions. And it is essential all countries support the Treaty in a complete and comprehensive manner.
Fourthly, to strengthen capacity building efforts in advancing the preparation for the implementation of the CTBT in a steady manner, and enhancing technical support of the entry-into-force of the Treaty.
China has been steadfast in its pursuit of a path of peaceful development. Since the very first day when it came into possession of nuclear weapons, the Chinese Government has solemnly declared that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and in any circumstance. China has also undertaken unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones.
The nuclear test explosions China conducted are the least vis-a-vis other Nuclear-Weapon States. Since its declared moratorium in 1996, the Chinese Government has all along honored its commitment, and has never vacillated its political support to the CTBT. Meanwhile, China has, in its own way, made due contribution to the preparation for the CTBT implementation, to international cooperation related to the CTBT and to the facilitation of its early entry-into-force. The Chinese Government, for its part, will continue to do its utmost to push China's ratification of the Treaty.
China has, in the meantime, also advanced its domestic preparation for the implementation of the CTBT. With the joint efforts with the PTS, several CTBT monitoring stations in China have proceeded to the key stage of testing and certification. The Lanzhou Radionuclide Station has completed the certification by the PTS in December last year, thus breaking the “ero-certified-station" history in China. Last week, the Guangzhou Radionuclide Station also has been certified by the PTS. At the same time, China has been consistently deepening its cooperation with the PTS, we co-hosted with the PTS a number of training courses and workshops in China in recent years, and actively contributed to the capacity building of regional countries.
Upholding global nuclear-test-ban consensus in promotion of the early entry-into-force of the CTBT represents our shared responsibility for the future. China, for its part, will continue to work vigorously with all parties and to make relentless efforts towards the ultimate goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.
Thank you, Mr. President.