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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Chinese Statement, May 10, 1999

Statement from H.E. Mr. Sha Zukang

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, as instructed by my government, I would like to read the statement of the government of the People' 5 Republic of China on 8 May, 1999. The full text is as follows:

"U.S.-led NATO dropped three missiles from different angles on the embassy of the People' S Republic of China in Yugoslavia at midnight Friday.

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The building of the embassy was seriously damaged. Up till now, two had been confirmed dead while more than 20 were injured with two others missing.

U.S.-led NATO has been wantonly bombing Yugoslavia for more than 40 days, killing and wounding large numbers of innocent civilians and now it even launched airstrike against the Chinese embassy.

The action is a gross violation of Chinese sovereignty and a random violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the norms of international relations. This is rare in diplomatic history.

The Chinese government and people express their utmost indignation and severe condemnation of the barbarian act and lodge the strongest protest.

U.S.-led NATO should bear all responsibilities arising therefrom.

The Chinese government reserves the right to take further action on the matter."

Mr. Chairman,

Please allow me to congratulate you on behalf of the Chinese delegation on your assumption of the chairmanship of the current Prep Com. As an important member of the Non-Aligned Movement, Colombia has been very active in international affairs. You yourself have accumulated rich experience in the field of international security, arms control and disarmament over the years. I am convinced that, with your wisdom and diplomatic skill, you will guide the meeting to a success, thus paving the way for 2000 NPT Review Conference. I would also like to extend my thanks to the Chairman of the Second PrepCom, Ambassador Wyzner of Poland.

Mr. Chairman,

The 20th century already witnessed World War I breaking out in the

Balkans, unfortunately, it will end up with blood-shedding in the same region. This is not a simple repetition of history. The reasons behind this are worth reflection. The turn of the century affords us a good opportunity to sum up historical experience, and to make joint efforts to build a lasting peace in the 21st century.

At the dawn of the next millennium, the pursuit of peace and development has become a common aspiration of all nations. However, the world is far from being tranquil. Some countries and blocs of countries still cling to the Cold War mentality. Hegemonism and power politics manifest themselves from time to time. The tendency towards closer military alliance is growing. New forms of "gunboat policy" are rampant. Hi-tech weaponry is being used as a tool to pursue hegemonism. A number of countries depict imaginary enemies. They interfere at will in the internal affairs of other sovereign states, enlarge military alliances targeted at others, and develop and deploy sophisticated weapon systems detrimental to strategic security and stability. They even turn the territory of a sovereign state into the testing ground for their advanced weapons.

Against such a backdrop, the US-Russia nuclear disarmament process has come to a standstill. The ratification process of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) moved very slowly. Negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) have not yet commenced. Fresh nuclear tests were conducted. The international nuclear non-proliferation regime has been undermined with increasing risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.

Mr. Chairman,

H.E. Mr. Jiang Zemin, President of the People' 5 Republic of China pointed out at the Conference on Disarmament on March 26 this year that the old security concept, based on military alliances and build-up of armaments, will not help safeguard global security, still less will it lead to a lasting world peace. To promote disarmament process and safeguard international peace and security, we should cultivate a new security concept in line with the need of the times. The core of such concept should be mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation. He also pointed out that " Today and for a long time to come, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament remains an important task for the international

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community. To accomplish this task calls for joint unremitting efforts by the international community."

From the historical perspective, the incentives for Nuclear-weapon States to develop and acquire nuclear weapons differ from each other. Some aimed at preserving their nuclear monopoly or seeking nuclear superiority so as to dominate the world. Therefore, they rely on advanced nuclear weapons and stick to the nuclear deterrence policy based on the first use of nuclear weapons. So long as the policy of seeking hegemony remains unchanged, and attempts are continued to build one's own absolute security upon the insecurity of others, the future of nuclear disarmament will remain gloomy. That is the strategy and policy pursued by US-led NATO, which not only undermines international peace and security but impairs the efforts towards nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation. And we firmly oppose such policy.

China was compelled to develop nuclear weapons under specific historical circumstances. For as long as a century, the Chinese nation experienced untold suffering and scourge of war inflicted by foreign aggressors. After the founding of new China, it was still subjected to the threat of war, including the threat of use of nuclear weapons. To survive and develop, China had no other choice. China' 5 very limited nuclear force is never intended to pose a threat to other countries, still less to seek hegemony. Self-defense is our sole purpose, namely, to safeguard our national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to ensure a peaceful life for the Chinese people. Moreover, China developed nuclear weapons with a view to safeguarding world peace, thwarting nuclear blackmail and threat, preventing nuclear war and, ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons.

Given the above historical background, China has always adopted a responsible attitude towards nuclear disarmament. Judging from China' 5 history of developing nuclear weapons and its position on nuclear disarmament, people will find that China has made important contributions to international nuclear disarmament.

1. Since the very first day when China came into possession of nuclear

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weapons, China has solemnly declared that it would never be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances. China has also undertaken unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapons states or nuclear-weapons-free zones. China is the only Nuclear-Weapon State that has made and abided by such commitments.

2. China has never deployed nuclear weapons on foreign soil, nor has it used or threatened to use nuclear weapons against any other countries.

3. China has shown utmost restraint in the development of nuclear weapons It has never participated in any arms race. Moreover, China conducted very limited number of nuclear tests and possesses very limited nuclear weapons.

4. China has supported the countries concerned in their efforts to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among themselves. We have provided unconditional security assurances to the states parties to the treaties of nuclear-weapons-free zones.

5. China has always advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.

If other Nuclear -Weapon States had adopted the same policy as China does, the situation of nuclear disarmament would have been entirely different today.

Mr. Chairman,

In order to eliminate nuclear weapons and free mankind of the threat of nuclear war, China holds that:

1 .The U.S. and Russia undertake special responsibilities for nuclear disarmament. They should continue to drastically cut down their respective nuclear arsenals.

2. NPT must be observed in full and in good faith.

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3. Nuclear-Weapon States should, as soon as possible, undertake unconditionally and in a legally-binding manner not to be the first to use unclear weapons or use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states.

4. Efforts should be made for early entry into force of CTBT in

accordance with its provisions.

5. Negotiations should be conducted as soon as possible for the

conclusion of a universal and verifiable Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty.

6. On the basis of the above efforts, a convention banning nuclear weapons should be negotiated.

The above-mentioned proposals have highlighted the task for nuclear disarmament at next stage, i.e. countries possessing the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to substantially reduce their respective nuclear stockpiles. With CTBT already in place, the qualitative improvement and further development of nuclear weapons are freezed. By concluding FMCT, the number of nuclear weapons will be capped Through NPT nuclear weapons proliferation should be prevented, and all the objectives set forth in the treaty should be promoted. And with the conclusion of international treaties on no-first-use of nuclear weapons and no use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states, the use of nuclear weapons should be prohibited. And ultimately, a nuclear-weapon-free world would be realized through a convention banning nuclear weapons.

China supports the Conference on Disarmament to make immediate efforts towards the conclusion of a convention banning nuclear weapons. We should carefully study the various proposals on nuclear disarmament put forward by the vast number of non-nuclear weapon states, including the time-bound nuclear disarmament program put forward by Non-Aligned Movement, those by New-Agenda-Coalition, as well as the report of the Canberra Commission, drawing upon all reasonable proposals contained therein. Fundamentally speaking, to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world two principles and one prerequisite should be observed The two principles are: the global strategic stability should be maintained, and no country's security should be compromised. The prerequisite is the

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maintenance of an international environment of peace, security, stability and trust favorable for progress in nuclear disarmament.

In this connection, I cannot but refer to a very dangerous tendency: the pursuit of establishment of national missile defense system (NND) and theater missile defense system (TMD) by a few countries. Clad as victim of possible missile attacks, under the pretext of so-called ''legitimate defense" , these countries are trying to develop and improve their "shield" , in addition to the most advanced "spear" already in their hands. The purpose is to enhance their overall capabilities of offense and defense, thereby seeking strategic superiority in the 21St century. Such acts run counter to the trend of the times and will offset the international efforts in nuclear disarmament. The fact is: 1. The ballistic missile defense program of some country will further hamper the US-Russia nuclear disarmament process already in a stalemate. 2. This program will create new obstacles to the participation in nuclear disarmament process by other Nuclear-Weapon States. 3. It will disrupt global and regional strategic balance and stability, and possibly trigger off a new round of arms race. 4. More instability will be injected into regions of sensitivity, rendering the situation in these regions even more complicated. 5. Given the inherent capabilities of missiles and missile defense systems, either joint development of such systems or transfer of related technology and equipment will stimulate proliferation of missile technology, which ultimately will go out of control.

6. The so-called TMD plan is being used directly to interfere grossly in other country' 5 internal affairs, infringe upon other' S sovereignty and security, hampering other' 5 reunification course.

Mr. Chairman,

Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons are complementary to each other, and their progress is closely linked to international peace and security. At this very moment, hegemonism and power politics are seriously jeopardizing certain countries' sovereignty, security and even their very existence. Innocent civilians are under brutal and indiscriminate bombardment by US-led NATO and even diplomatic missions can not be spared. It is hard to imagine that under the above circumstances, discussion on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation at this forum can lead us anywhere. People have every reason to worry that if

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United States, instead of changing its course, continues to threaten or bully other countries, those countries will be forced to resort to every possible means to protect themselves. That may eventually result in the collapse of existing international regimes on disarmament, including those aiming at preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. If that happens, the bombardment by the US-led NATO is the only thing to blame and it is US and NATO which have provoked the proliferation of WMD. Their acts not only undermine international peace and security, violate the international law and norms governing international relations, but also impair international efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Mr. Chairman,

At the turn of the century, international efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are at a crossroad. All peace-loving people of the international community must face courageously the challenges posed by the U.S. and NATO. We must strive to establish a just and fair new international political and economic order, firmly oppose and do away with hegemonism, power politics, military aggression and intervention as well as the pursuit of absolute military superiority. Only when the above is achieved, can all countries, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, nuclear or non-nuclear, feel secure. This will not only eliminate the incentives to acquire, develop or retain nuclear weapons but also provide the necessary basis for achieving nuclear disarmament.

We do hope that 2000 NPT Review Conference will make a meaningful stride towards this direction.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.