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Statement by Ambassador Chen Xu,Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the General Debate of The Twentieth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to The Chemical Weapons Convention

(2015/11/30, The Hague)

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to congratulate you on your election as the Chairman 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, Her Excellency Vesela Mrden Korać for the excellent work which she has performed.

Mr. Chairman,

This year happens to be the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Anti-Fascist World War, as well as the centennial anniversary of the first large-scale use of chemical weapons (CWs) in human history. In this exceptional year, we have witnessed the accession by Myanmar and Angola to the Convention, and thus the remarkable enhancement of its universality. Under the full and effective supervision of the OPCW, positive progress has been made in the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons. The importance of the Convention and the OPCW for building a CW-free world and for safeguarding global peace and security has been further highlighted. China will, as always, actively support the work of the Director-General and the Secretariat, strengthen the bilateral cooperation and make a joint effort to advance the process of ridding the world of chemical weapons.

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Director-General, H. E. Mr. Uzumcu, for his comprehensive work report, and associates itself with the statement made by His Excellency Ambassador Alireza Jahangiri of Iran 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 object of the Convention, and represents the primary task of the OPCW for a long time yet to come. The OPCW should continue to ensure its resources inputs in this regard. The CW possessor states concerned should work to complete their destructions at an early date, in accordance with the Convention and the relevant decisions made by the policy-making organs of the OPCW. China welcomes the positive progress made in the destruction of the Syrian CWs, and commends the OPCW, the United Nations, the Syrian government and the international community at large for their joint efforts made in this regard. China stands firmly against the use by anybody under any circumstances of CWs, and is in support of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism in carrying out its mandated work objectively, independently and professionally while respecting Syria's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Secondly, the destruction of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan (Japanese ACWs) in China brooks of no further delay. If Japanese ACWs cannot be completely and thoroughly eliminated, the consequence will be the failure to accomplish the core object of the Convention of building a CW-free world. Today, large quantities of Japanese ACWs are still threatening and harming the Chinese people's lives and properties and the environmental safety in China. Since they are much more harmful to humans and the environment than CW stockpiles, the destruction of Japanese ACWs is something more urgent. Up to now, the pace of the destruction of Japanese ACWs has been falling far behind schedule, which causes China's grave concern. China urges Japan to fulfil its obligation under the Convention and implement the relevant Council decision dutifully, and increase its inputs to expedite the destruction, so as to complete it at an early date, according to the destruction plan jointly submitted by the two sides. The destruction of Japanese ACWs is not only an international legal obligation incumbent on Japan, as stipulated by the Convention, but also one of the core tasks of this Organization. China hopes that, through the Executive Council, the Conference of the States Parties and the Review Conference, the OPCW will keep this issue under review, bring into play its due monitoring role, and ensure its resources inputs in the verification of Japanese ACWs.

In order for States Parties to have an understanding of the past and the present of the issue of Japanese ACWs at greater length, China will hold an exhibition of photos of Japanese ACWs just outside this conference hall at 13:00 today, Nov. 30th. Delegates of States Parties are welcome to visit it.

Thirdly, the OPCW should attach importance to the developing nations' legitimate rights and interests and reasonable desires, and work to intensify international cooperation. As an important cornerstone of the Convention, international cooperation is of great significance to the full implementation of the Convention. The OPCW should pay attention and respond to the requirements of the developing nations, increase its resources inputs in the area of international cooperation, make an overall planning for and optimize international cooperation programs, and further explore ways to lift the restrictions for the transfer of chemicals. China commends the Secretariat and the States Parties concerned for their efforts for fostering international cooperation, and is prepared to work with all other parties to this end, and play an active role in the effective implementation of the relevant decision adopted by the Conference of the States Parties at its 16th Session in 2011.

Fourthly, the issue of the future development of the OPCW should be addressed properly and prudently. The future development hinges on the authority and the prospect of this Organization, and involves a broad range of issues, such as political, legal, technical, personnel and financial ones. All States Parties should be fully engaged and play a leading role in this process. China is in favour of the proposal by the NAM States Parties on the establishment of a working group on this subject, and holds the view that on the basis of a proper balance of the relations between the pillar regimes of the Convention, and following in-depth assessments and extensive deliberations, a decision should be made in an equitable, democratic and transparent manner and through consensus.

Mr. Chairman,

China has consistently supported the objects and purposes of the Convention, and fulfilled all its obligations under it in earnest. As the State Party with the largest numbers of declared facilities under Article VI of the Convention, China has, to date, received more than 400 OPCW inspections of all categories, with 36 already this year alone, of which there were 27 industry inspections and 9 Japanese ACW inspections. In last May, China and the OPCW jointly held in Beijing the annual meeting of National Authorities in Asia and the first education and outreach seminar in Asia. In last September, China hosted the first assistance and protection workshop for Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. China has also provided training for another two chemical interns from African States Parties. China is ready to make use of various means, such as seminars, training courses and bilateral exchanges, to assist other States Parties actively in enhancing their capabilities for implementing the Convention.

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

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Now, with your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to pass the floor to Mr. Enoch Yuen, 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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