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Letter Dated 17 April 1995 from the Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations and Deputy Head of the Chinese Delegation Addressed to the Secretary-General of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

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NPT/CONF.1995/18
17 April 1995
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

Upon instruction of the Chinese Government, I have the honour to transmit to you the national report of the People's Republic of China on the implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. A Chinese text of the report and its English translation is attached herewith.

I should be grateful if you could make arrangements for the distribution of the present letter and the annexed national report as a document of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
(S igned ) LI Zhaoxing
Ambassador
Permanent Representative
Deputy Head of the Chinese Delegation

Annex

NATIONAL REPORT OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ON THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TREATY ON THE NON-PROLIFERATION OF
NUCLEAR WEAPONS

The People's Republic of China supports the three major objectives of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (hereinafter referred to as the Treaty), namely, prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons, promotion of nuclear disarmament and enhancement of international cooperation for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Since its accession to the Treaty in 1992, China has strictly abided by the provisions of the Treaty and has been making untiring efforts for the realization of these objectives. The People's Republic of China, as required by the Preparatory Committee for the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, hereby reports on its implementation of the Treaty as follows.

I. PREVENTION OF PROLIFERATION OF
NUCLEAR WEAPONS

China has faithfully fulfilled its obligations under the Treaty for the prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons. It has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and maintained the policy of not endorsing, encouraging or engaging in the proliferation of nuclear weapons, or assisting other countries in developing such weapons. At the same time, China maintains, while preventing nuclear weapons proliferation, one should not be oblivious of the legitimate rights, interests and demands of States, particularly the vast number of the developing countries, for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It is absolutely inadmissible to adopt double standards or, under the pretext of preventing nuclear weapons proliferation, to restrict or hamper the use of nuclear energy by developing countries for peaceful purposes.

China believes that the safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an important means to ensure the effectiveness of the Treaty. China had committed itself to the obligations set out by the IAEA statute, including that of safeguards, even before acceding to the Treaty. After its accession in 1992, China has earnestly fulfilled all its obligations under the Treaty for safeguards and cooperated fully with IAEA in this regard. China adheres to three principles on nuclear export. First, the export should be exclusively for peaceful purposes. Second, the export should be subject to the IAEA safeguards and third, such export should not be retransferred to a third country without the consent of China. Besides, only companies specially designated by the Government of China are permitted to engage in such exports and the export applications are subject to approval by the competent government departments on a case-by-case basis. Any nuclear material or equipment exported by China is subject to the IAEA safeguards. China has never exported such sensitive technologies or equipment as those for uranium enrichment, reprocessing and heavy-water production. To support the IAEA safeguards, China made an official announcement in November 1991 that it would notify IAEA of its export to and import from non-nuclear-weapon States of more than one effective kilogramme of nuclear material on a continuous basis. It further undertook in July 1993 to notify IAEA of all its import and export of nuclear materials and its export of nuclear equipment and related non-nuclear materials on a voluntary basis.

In 1985, China announced its decision to voluntarily put part of its civilian nuclear facilities under the safeguards of IAEA. In 1989, China and IAEA concluded the Agreement for the Application of Safeguards in China and hence has voluntarily offered IAEA a list of facilities for safeguards and established a system of accounting and control for nuclear materials under the safeguards. This system is supervised, managed and operated by the competent government departments, the authorities in charge of the facilities under the IAEA safeguards and other technical supporting agencies. The competent government departments are responsible for the overall administration and implementation of the safeguards agreement between China and IAEA, while the authorities in charge of the facilities concerned are responsible for the establishment of a measuring system, a recording and reporting system according to the agreement. Those facilities are open to the IAEA inspectors for on-site inspection.

II. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR THE PEACEFUL
USES OF NUCLEAR ENERGY

China holds that the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and international cooperation in this regard are an inalienable right of all States parties, the developing countries in particular, as it is also an important element for achieving a balance between rights and obligations under the Treaty. The effort to prevent nuclear weapon proliferation should facilitate rather than hamper the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. To enhance international cooperation for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is one of the important objectives of the Treaty and, therefore, should be accorded the same importance as other objectives.

As a developing country with some nuclear industrial capabilities, China has strictly observed the relevant provisions of the Treaty and vigorously carried out mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries in the area of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. For that purpose, the Government of China has signed governmental agreements of cooperation on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with 14 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Japan, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Romania, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and the former Yugoslavia. It has provided as much assistance to the developing countries as possible in the areas of nuclear scientific research and the utilization of nuclear energy. China has exported a 300 MW nuclear power plant to Pakistan, miniature neutron source reactors to Ghana, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic and provided a heavy-water research reactor to Algeria. In the mean time, China has carried out cooperation with the developed countries. It has exported nuclear materials to Canada, France, Germany and the United States of America, while importing some advanced nuclear technology and facilities to meet its needs in energy development. With the in-depth implementation of the policy of reform and opening-up and the economic development, China will expand and strengthen its cooperation with the rest of the world in the area of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

China and IAEA have carried out fruitful exchanges and cooperation in the fields of nuclear power plant construction, nuclear safety, irradiation and nuclear technology application. Thanks to the cooperation and support of IAEA, a number of training centres have been set up in China, which have helped improve the long-term training capacity of the country. The technical standards of some laboratories have been updated and the professional level of the scientific and technological personnel has been raised. In its cooperation with IAEA, China attaches importance to two-way assistance. China has received scientists and technical personnel from the developing countries for study tours and training courses and has sent experts abroad upon request to render technical services and give lectures for trans-regional projects and international training courses.

China maintains that IAEA and the countries concerned should attach importance to increased technical assistance to and cooperation with the developing countries. Efforts should be made to remove those unreasonable restrictions on transfer of nuclear energy technology so as to help the developing countries master the technology for peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to create favourable conditions for the establishment of a new international cooperative relationship in the field of nuclear energy.

III. NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

China maintains that the prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons is not an end in itself, but an intermediate step towards the ultimate goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China stands for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons in the same way as the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons, so as to free mankind of the threat of nuclear war, thus making a substantive contribution to world peace, security and stability.

Proceeding from this basic position, China maintains that the nuclear-weapon States should negotiate and conclude at an early date a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, thereby undertaking to ban and destroy all their nuclear weapons under effective international supervision. China appeals to other nuclear-weapon States to make an immediate and positive response.

China does not endorse the policy of nuclear deterrence. The nuclear weapons developed by China are solely for self-defence, never meant to threaten any other country. During the period of the nuclear arms race between the largest nuclear-weapon Powers in the cold war or any other period, China has always advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and never taken part in the nuclear arms race. China has always exercised the utmost restraint with respect to the development of nuclear weapons and kept its nuclear arsenal to a minimum level.

China has also exercised restraint with regard to nuclear testing. It has conducted fewer such tests than any other nuclear-weapon State.

China has never taken part in an arms race in outer space.

China has actively participated in the negotiations on a comprehensive test-ban treaty at the Conference on Disarmament at Geneva and made its due contribution to the negotiation process.

China has adopted a positive attitude towards the negotiation and conclusion of a convention prohibiting the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons. The Foreign Minister of China and the Secretary of State of the United States of America have signed a joint statement to promote the conclusion through negotiations of such a convention.

Since the first day when it came into possession of nuclear weapons, China has unilaterally and unconditionally pledged in explicit terms not to be the first to use nuclear weapons. For the purpose of initiating negotiations among the nuclear-weapon States on a treaty of mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons, China has formally presented a draft treaty to the other four nuclear-weapon States, proposing that the five nuclear-weapon States start off the first round of consultations in Beijing.

President Jiang Zemin of China and President Yeltsin of the Russian Federation issued a joint statement in September 1994, reaffirming the commitment of both countries to the mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons and declaring the detargeting of nuclear weapons under their respective control, away from each other. We hope that this will lead to a joint commitment of mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons by all five nuclear-weapon States.

China has long undertaken unilaterally and unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States and nuclear-weapon-free zones, and has actively worked for the conclusion of an international legal instrument to this effect. China supports the establishment on a voluntary basis and through consultations and respects the status of nuclear-weapon-free zones and zones free of weapons of mass destruction.

China signed on 21 August 1973 Additional Protocol II to the Treaty of Tlatelolco (Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean), pledging not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against that nuclear-weapon-free zone and countries in the zone under any circumstance, or to test, manufacture, produce, store, install or deploy nuclear weapons in those countries or in the region as a whole. It further undertakes not to pass its delivery vehicles of nuclear weapons through the territory of the countries in the zone, including their territorial waters and air space.

China signed on 10 February 1987 Additional Protocols II and III to the treaty of Rarotonga, undertaking to respect the status of the South Pacific as a nuclear-weapon-free zone and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against that zone under any circumstance; nor will it carry out any nuclear weapon test in the region.

China welcomes and supports the efforts made by African countries to conclude a treaty on establishing the African nuclear-weapon-free zone.

At the request of Ukraine and Kazakhstan, China issued governmental statements in December 1994 and February 1995, respectively, to provide them with security assurances.

China issued a statement on 5 April 1995, reaffirming the provision of negative security assurances to all non-nuclear-weapon States and undertaking to provide positive security assurances to those States as well.

In order to push forward the process of nuclear disarmament, China presented at the forty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly a whole set of interrelated proposals on nuclear disarmament. These proposals, among other things, call on nuclear-weapon States immediately to negotiate and conclude a treaty on mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons, to undertake not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones, to conclude a comprehensive test-ban treaty and a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons. These proposals also call for the conclusion of a convention banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapon purposes. China is ready to join other countries in an effort to advance the process of nuclear disarmament so as to attain the lofty goal of the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.