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Statement by Chinese Delegation at the Eighty-Fourth Session of the OPCW Executive Council
2017/03/13

Madam Chair,

To begin with, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to welcome you back to the Chair of the Executive Council (Council). Just as in the past, the Chinese delegation will have full cooperation with you, and with other parties, in an effort to help make this session a success.

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Director-General for his report on the work of the Secretariat, as well as the Vice-Chairpersons for their respective reports. This delegation associates itself with the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Venezuela, Ambassador Haifa Aissami Madah, on behalf of the NAM CWC States Parties and China. Now, I would like to take this opportunity to elaborate further China's positions and views regarding the following issues.

Madam Chair,

The destruction of chemical weapons (CWs) of all categories represents the core object of the CWC. At present, positive progress has been made in the destruction of CW stockpiles. However, the pace of the destruction of the chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China (Japanese ACWs) has been lagging far behind schedule. Japan indicated to the Council at its Eighty-Second Session last July that it would be unable to meet the phased target for the destruction for 2016, as specified by the relevant decision made by the Council at its Sixty-Seventh Session. China expressed its grave concern over this situation. With a practical, cooperative and flexible approach, China held many rounds of intense negotiations with Japan, and eventually reached agreement with Japan on the destruction plan for Japanese ACWs beyond the year 2016, which specifies the timeframe for the destruction of all types of Japanese ACWs, including those already declared, those buried at Haerbaling, and those discovered at known locations and awaiting investigation and identification. China and Japan request the Council, at its current session, to consider the Destruction Plan, and to adopt it as the second annex to the particular decision made by the Council at its Sixty-Seventh Session in 2012.

China urges Japan to honour in earnest its obligation under the Convention as the Abandoning State Party, increase its resources inputs, and speed up the investigation, excavation, recovery, identification and destruction of Japanese ACWs in line with the destruction plan mentioned above. As the Territorial State Party, China will as always provide appropriate cooperation. The OPCW should continue to ensure the allocation of resources for conducting relevant verification, and fulfil its reviewing and monitoring duties. In mid-June this year, jointly with Japan, China will again invite a Council delegation to visit a Japanese ACW facility in China. We hope that the visit will serve to help the Council and States Parties gain in-depth knowledge of the issue of Japanese ACWs.

Madam Chair,

Thanks to the joint efforts made by all sides, the destruction of the Syrian CWs has made significant progress. Currently, the Secretariat and the Syrian government are carrying out cooperation regarding the Syrian initial declaration. Fact-finding concerning incidences of the use of CWs in Syria are also underway. And the Secretariat has conducted an on-site inspection at the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Centre. China hopes that Syrian government and the Secretariat will carry on their cooperation in order to forge constant progress on the relevant issues. All the parties concerned should stay united, fulfil their respective responsibilities under the Convention, and implement the OPCW decisions and the UN Security Council resolutions fully and accurately, with a view to eventually bringing the issue of the Syrian CWs to a proper solution.

Madam Chair,

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention. How to plan the course of the future development of the OPCW so as to enable this Organization to continue to make its due contributions to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the promotion of socio-economic development under the new circumstances constitutes an important topic of this Organisation. Under the leadership of the co-chairs, the Open-Ended Working Group on the Future Priorities of the OPCW established last July has now held two meetings, at which useful discussions took place on this major topic. China has actively engaged in relevant discussions and hopes that the working group will continue to work on the principles of letting the States Parties take the dominant role, ensuring transparency and having consensus, and produce positive results at an early date, so as for them to be submitted to the Fourth Review Conference for consideration.

Madam Chair,

China is always firmly opposed to any form of terrorism, and to the use of CWs by any one at any time, anywhere under any circumstances. China has actively participated in the discussions of the Open-Ended Working Group on Terrorism and the Sub-Working Group on Non-State Actors, and wishes hereby to commend their chairpersons for their work.

China believes that at the moment, an urgent priority in the anti-chemical-terrorism efforts within the framework of the Convention is to intensify the capability-building for State Parties in the field of protection against CWs. China commends the DG and the Secretariat for their efforts in this area, including the establishment of the rapid response assistance mechanism last year, and looks forward to the Secretariat's enhanced communications with State Parties in regard to the ideas and actions for improving this mechanism as the next step of work. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the capability-building for State Parties in protection, and will continue to organize in China, jointly with the Secretariat, training courses on assistance and protection, and on medical assistance. Interested State Parties are most welcome to send participants to the courses.

Madam Chair,

The Chinese delegation requests the circulation of this statement as an official document of this session and its uploading onto the official and internal website of the OPCW.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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