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Statement by Ambassador Chen Xu, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the General Debate of The Nineteenth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to The Chemical Weapons Convention
2014/12/08

Madam Chairperson,

First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to congratulate you on your election as the Chairperson of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Chinese delegation is prepared to cooperate fully with you and with all the other delegations in making this session a success. I would also like to express my appreciation to your predecessor, H.E. Dr. Sa’ad Abdul Majeed Ibrahim Al-Ali, the ambassador of the Republic of Iraq, for the excellent work which he has performed.

Madam Chairperson,

This year has witnessed major progress achieved in the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons (CW) under the comprehensive and effective supervision of the OPCW, which has highlighted the great significance of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the OPCW for the maintenance of global peace and security. The international community is thus intensifying its consensus on efforts to build a world free of CW.

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Director-General, H.E. Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü, for his comprehensive work report, and associates itself with the statement made by H.E. Dr. Alireza Jahangiri on behalf of the NAM States Parties and China. Now, please allow me to elaborate China’s position further.

Firstly, the OPCW should consistently push the CW destruction forward. The CW destruction constitutes the core objective of the Convention and the primary goal of the OPCW. The CW possessor states concerned should work to complete the destructions at an early date, in accordance with the Convention and the relevant decisions adopted by the policy-making organs of the OPCW. The OPCW should continue to ensure its inputs in this regard. China welcomes the positive progress made in the destruction and verification of the Syrian CWs, and commends the efforts by the Syrian government, the Secretariat of the OPCW, the United Nations as well as the international community towards this end. China is looking forward to all the parties working to create favourable conditions for the destruction of the Syrian CWPFs as soon as possible.

Secondly, the international community should respond positively to the reasonable calls of the developing countries for international cooperation. China appreciates the efforts made by the Secretariat and relevant States Parties in the field of international cooperation, and calls on all the parties to seek guidance from the relevant documents of the Sixteenth Session of the Conference of States Parties and the Third Review Conference, draw on the relevant experiences of the Secretariat, and take heed of all the views and needs of developing countries, with a view to discussing and formulating a guiding document on targeted efforts of international cooperation as the next step.

Thirdly, the destruction of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan (ACW) in China brooks of no further delay. This year, China has received 8 inspections of Japanese ACWs. Japanese ACWs have already caused quite a number of accidents involving casualties and injuries and they still pose a huge threat to the lives and properties of the people and the ecological safety in China. In reality, they have proved to be more harmful than stockpile chemical weapons, which makes their destruction even more urgent. China is gravely concerned about this issue, and is prepared to continue its cooperation with Japan pragmatically and constructively, in order to speed up the destruction process.

On this occasion, I wish to underscore the following. First, although the destruction in Haerbaling was officially launched a few days ago, the overall destruction pace of Japanese ACWs had been delayed twice, and is again lagging behind the schedule specified by the Council. China finds this situation deeply deplorable and worrying. China urges Japan to honour its obligations under the Convention faithfully and implement the relevant decision of the Council dutifully, by increasing its human and financial inputs, so as to complete the destruction as soon as possible, in accordance with the destruction plan jointly submitted by the two sides. Second, in keeping with the spirit of the Memorandum reached by China and Japan in 1999, Japan should ensure that the destruction process will not cause any environmental pollution and personal injury. China is deeply concerned over the recent stagnation of the destruction efforts caused by environmental problems (emissions exceeding the standards). Third, since Japanese ACWs are widely located and in large quantities, Japan should provide specific information about their burial as soon as possible, to make better targeted excavation and destruction possible. The discovery of Japanese ACWs cannot count merely on accidents, which would amount, in reality, to an indefinite delay of the destruction.

Madam Chairperson,

China has consistently supported the objectives and purposes of the Convention, and fulfilled all its obligations under it in earnest. As the State Party with the largest numbers of declared and inspectable facilities under Article VI of the Convention, China has, up to date, received close to 400 OPCW inspections of all categories, with 37 already this year alone. In 2014, China and the OPCW jointly held in China the fifth assistance and protection workshop and the seminar on chemical safety and security in the Asian region. The two events were full successes. On the occasions, China also conducted exchanges with Myanmar and other States not Parties. China hopes by different ways, such as seminars, training courses and bilateral exchanges, to assist other states actively in enhancing their abilities for implementing the Convention. China is also ready to make its contributions to the promotion of the universality and effectiveness of the Convention.

Next year, China will continue to work closely with the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW in jointly holding the sixth assistance and protection workshop. China will also give its favourable consideration to the hosting in due time of a training course on medical protection. Interested States Parties are welcome to participate in both events. The Executive Council of the OPCW is also welcome to send its delegation on a visit, in the first half of next year, to the Haerbaling Destruction Facilities for Japanese ACWs, for the purpose of reviewing the destruction process. In addition, China is willing to maintain its communication with the Secretariat on the “NDE Training Project”.

Madam Chairperson,

China commends the Director-General, H.E. Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü, and all the staff members of the Secretariat for their professionalism and dedication, and for the huge amount of work which they have performed for furthering the implementation of the Convention. China will, as always, actively support the work of the Director-General and the Secretariat in a joint effort, to advance the process of ridding the world of chemical weapons.

The Chinese delegation requests the issuance of this statement as an official document of this session of the Conference.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Now, with your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to pass the floor to Mr. Yuen Ka Lok, Assistant Director-General of Trade and Industry of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. He will brief the Conference on the efforts made and measures taken in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for implementing the Convention.

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