(The Hague, 11 July 2017)
Please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to welcome you to the Chair of the Executive Council (Council). The Chinese delegation will have full cooperation with you, and with all the other parties, in an effort to help make this session successfully complete all its proceedings.
The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Director-General for his work report, 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.
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 on the territory of China (Japanese ACWs) has been lagging far behind schedule. This year, the Council approved the timeframe for the destruction of Japanese ACWs beyond the year 2016, which was jointly submitted by China and Japan, and for a third time, a Council delegation paid its visit to the Haerbaling Japanese ACW Destruction Facility. I believe that through the Council’s deliberations as well as on-site visit, the members of the Council have gained a fuller and better virtualized understanding of the general history and the real harm posed by ACWs, as well as the urgency and gravity of their destruction. And, this has actually been well reflected by the questions and proposals put forward in the course of the Council’s visit.
China urges Japan to honour its obligation under the Convention as the Abandoning State Party in earnest, and increase its inputs of resources and speed up the investigation, excavation, recovery, identification and destruction of Japanese ACWs in line with the timeframe approved by the Council at its Eighty-Fourth Session. As the Territorial State Party, China will as always provide its appropriate cooperation. The Council should well perform its reviewing and supervising functions in this regard. The Chinese delegation will brief on this issue further under the relevant agenda item.
China has noted that further progress has been made in the elimination of Syrian CWs, which is marked by the destruction of the last aircraft hangar declared by Syria and the successful on-site inspection by the Secretariat of the Syrian Scientific Research Centre. China hopes that the Syrian government and the Secretariat will strengthen their cooperation and work to achieve steady progress in addressing the pending issues regarding the Syrian declarations. All parties in the Council should endeavour to maintain solidarity, and implement fully and accurately the relevant Council decisions and UN Security Council resolutions, so that the issue of the Syrian CWs will be properly resolved.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention, and next year, we will hold the Fourth Review Conference. In prospect, it will be an important topic as to how to enhance purposes and objectives of the Convention in a balanced manner, and make due contributions to the preservation of international peace and security and the promotion of socio-economic development. China commends the work done by the co-chairpersons of the Open-Ended Working Group on the Future Priorities, and looks forward to the Group working further on in keeping with the principles of States Parties giving guidance, transparency and consensus, so as to achieve positive results at an early date.
This year, we will also elect the next Director-General. China hopes that through full consultations and consensus among all the parties, we will arrive at a candidate who has fine qualities, abundant experience and even-handedness, and will lead the Secretariat in the successful performance of all its duties.
China commends Director-General Üzümcü and the Secretariat for their effort for preparing the 2018 OPCW Draft Program and Budget. China believes that to ensure the fulfilment of such core tasks as CW destruction, industry verification, assistance and protection against CWs and international cooperation, it is necessary for the Secretariat to keep its reasonable size and maintain a proper budget. With a flexible and practical approach, the Chinese delegation is ready to join other delegations and the Secretariat in subsequent consultations.
In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention, the Chinese government has organized considerable and effective activities at the national and local levels. The Chinese national implementation office has held fora on such themes as the promotion of the implementation legislation, declarations, on-site inspection, chemicals management and outreach, which were attended by representatives from the central and local governments and from the chemical industry. Senior officials of the national implementation office met with Director-General Üzümcü respectively in Beijing and The Hague, and had in-depth exchanges of views with him on the implementation of the Convention. China welcomes the use of the One Belt, One Road initiative by the OPCW as a platform for the purposes of fostering the cooperation in the implementation among States Parties and expanding international capacity and cooperation in chemical industry.
China attaches great importance to the implementation of Article X and Article XI, and engages itself actively in the promotion of international cooperation and assistance and protection against CWs. Jointly with the Secretariat, China has just co-hosted in Beijing a training course on assistance and protection against CWs. At the end of the coming August, China will jointly organize in Shanghai an Executive Program on Integrated Chemicals Management. And in mid-September, China will co-host a training course on medical aspects of assistance and protection against CWs in Xi’an. Interested State Parties are welcome to send participants to the courses.
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, Mr. Chairman.