China's National Defense in 2008

XIV. Arms Control and Disarmament

The Chinese government has always attached importance to and been supportive of international efforts in the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. China has taken concrete measures to faithfully fulfill its relevant international obligations. China is committed to, along with the international community, consolidating and strengthening the existing international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms pursuant to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and other universally recognized norms governing international relations, and to the preservation of international strategic stability and promotion of the common security of all countries.

Nuclear Disarmament

China holds that all nuclear-weapon states should make an unequivocal commitment to the thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, undertake to stop research into and development of new types of nuclear weapons, and reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national security policy. The two countries possessing the largest nuclear arsenals bear special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament. They should earnestly comply with the relevant agreements already concluded, and further drastically reduce their nuclear arsenals in a verifiable and irreversible manner, so as to create the necessary conditions for the participation of other nuclear-weapon states in the process of nuclear disarmament.

China supports the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, and will continue to honor its moratorium commitment on nuclear testing. China supports the preparatory work for the entry into force of the Treaty by the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization, and has contributed to the establishment of the International Monitoring System (IMS).

China has always stayed true to its commitments that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and in any circumstances, and will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or in nuclear-weapon-free zones. China calls upon other nuclear-weapon states to make the same commitments and conclude an international legal instrument in this regard. China has already signed all relevant protocols which have been opened for signature of various nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties, and has reached agreement with the ASEAN on relevant issues of the Protocol of the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. China welcomes the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia signed by the five Central Asian countries.

China values the role of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, and supports efforts in the CD to reach a comprehensive and balanced program of work, so as to enable the CD to start substantial work on such issues as the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), prevention of an arms race in outer space, nuclear disarmament and security assurance to non-nuclear-weapon states.

China maintains that the global missile defense program will be detrimental to strategic balance and stability, undermine international and regional security, and have a negative impact on the process of nuclear disarmament. China pays close attention to this issue.

Prohibition of Biological and Chemical Weapons

China observes in good faith its obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and supports the multilateral efforts aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of the Convention. China has actively participated in the meetings of the parties to the Convention and the meetings of experts in a pragmatic manner. China has already established a comprehensive legislation system for the implementation of the Convention, set up a national implementation focal point, and submitted its declarations regarding confidence-building measures to the Implementation Support Unit of the Convention in a timely fashion. China has also strengthened bio-safety, bio-security and disease surveillance, and actively carried out related international exchanges and cooperation.

China earnestly fulfils its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) by setting up implementation offices at both central and local levels, submitting timely and complete annual declarations, subsequent declarations regarding newly discovered chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China and information on the national protection program. China has received more than 170 on-site inspections by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The Analytical Chemistry Research Laboratory of the Institute of Chemical Defense became the first OPCW-designated laboratory in China in 1998, followed by the Toxicant Analysis Laboratory of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, which became an OPCW-designated laboratory in 2007. In May 2008 China and the OPCW jointly held a training course on protection and assistance in Beijing. With a view to accelerating the destruction of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China, China has assisted Japan in carrying out more than100 on-site investigations, and excavated more than 40,000 items of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan. China urges Japan to earnestly implement its obligations under the Convention, and start the actual destruction of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China as soon as possible.

Non-Proliferation

China firmly opposes the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery, and actively takes part in international non-proliferation efforts. China holds that an integrated approach should be adopted to address both the symptoms and root causes of proliferation. The international community should devote itself to building a global and regional security environment featuring stability, cooperation and mutual trust, and earnestly maintaining and strengthening the authority and effectiveness of the international non-proliferation regime. In this regard, double standards must be abandoned. All states should resort to dialogue and negotiation to resolve differences in the field of non-proliferation. The relations between non-proliferation and the peaceful use of science and technology should be properly addressed, with the aim of preserving the right of peaceful use of each state while effectively preventing WMD proliferation.

China has joined all international treaties and international organizations in the field of non-proliferation. It attaches great importance to the role of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in preventing the proliferation of WMD. China supports the role played by the UN in the field of non-proliferation, and has conscientiously implemented the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.

China is dedicated to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and firmly promotes the Six-Party Talks process on that issue. China facilitated the adoption of "Initial Actions for the Implementation of the Joint Statement" and the "Second-Phase Actions for the Implementation of the Joint Statement" respectively in February and October 2007.

China maintains that the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved peacefully by political and diplomatic means. China has participated in the meetings of foreign ministers or political directors of the ministries of foreign affairs, and hosted a meeting of political directors of the ministries of foreign affairs of those six countries in Shanghai in April 2008. China has also actively taken part in the deliberation on the Iranian nuclear issue at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN Security Council, playing a constructive role.

China attaches great importance to non-proliferation export control, and has established a comprehensive legal system for export control of nuclear, biological, chemical and missile and related dual-use items and technologies. China has also constantly updated these laws and regulations in light of its international obligations and the need for export control. China amended the Regulations of the PRC on the Control of Nuclear Exports in November 2006, the Regulations of the PRC on the Control of Dual-Use Nuclear Items and Related Technologies Exports in January2007 and its Control List in July of the same year. China has spared no effort in strengthening law enforcement in the field of non-proliferation export control.

China values and actively carries out international exchanges and cooperation in the field of non-proliferation and export control. China has held regular arms control and non-proliferation consultations with a dozen countries and the EU, and non-proliferation dialogues with NATO. China also maintains dialogues and exchanges with multinational export control regimes such as the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

China supports the objectives and principles of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. As one of the original partners of the Initiative, China has taken part in all meetings of the partners. In December 2007 China and the United States jointly held a workshop in Beijing on radiation emergency response within the framework of the Initiative.

Prevention of the Introduction of Weapons and an Arms Race in Outer Space

The Chinese government has all along advocated the peaceful use of outer space, and opposed the introduction of weapons and an arms race in outer space. The existing international legal instruments concerning outer space are not sufficient to effectively prevent the spread of weapons to outer space. The international community should negotiate and conclude a new international legal instrument to close the loopholes in the existing legal system concerning outer space.

In February 2008 China and Russia jointly submitted to the CD a draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects. China hopes that the CD will start substantial discussions on the draft as soon as possible, and negotiate and conclude the Treaty at an early date.

Conventional Arms Control

China has earnestly fulfilled its obligations under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Protocols. It has taken concrete measures to ensure that its anti-personnel landmines in service meet the relevant technical requirements of the Amended Protocol on Landmines. China actively participates in the work of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Cluster Munitions. China is also continuing its preparations for ratifying the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War. China has continuously taken an active part in international humanitarian de-mining assistance. In the past two years, it has held de-mining training courses for Angola, Mozambique, Chad, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, and both northern and southern Sudan. China has also donated de-mining equipment to the above-mentioned countries and Egypt, and provided Peru, Ecuador and Ethiopia with mine eradication funds.

China has actively participated in the international efforts to combat the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). It has conscientiously implemented the UN Program of Action (PoA) on SALW and the International Instrument on Identifying and Tracing Illicit SALW. China has issued and implemented new detailed rules on SALW markings, and has taken part in the work of the UN GGE on an "Arms Trade Treaty".

Transparency in Military Expenditures and Registration of Transfer of Conventional Arms

China attaches great importance to military transparency, and makes unremitting efforts to enhance military transparency and promote mutual trust with other countries in the military sphere. In 2007 China joined the UN Standardized Instrument for Reporting Military Expenditures, and reports annually to the UN the basic data of its military expenditures for the latest fiscal year.

China has made important contributions to the establishment and development of the UN Register of Conventional Arms. After the Register was established, China provided the Register with annual data on imports and exports of conventional arms in the seven categories covered by the Register. However, since 1996 a particular country has provided data on its arms sales to Taiwan to the Register, which contradicts the spirit of the relevant Resolutions of the UN General Assembly as well as the objectives and principles of the Register. China was impelled to suspend its submission of data to the Register. Since the country concerned has stopped the above-mentioned act, China has resumed, since 2007,submitting data annually to the Register on imports and exports of conventional arms in the seven categories.  

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