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Statement by H. E. Ambassador Wu Ken, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the Eighty-Eighth Session of the Executive Council of the OPCW

Mme. Chair,

Please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to welcome you to the Chair of the Executive Council (Council) at this session.  The Chinese delegation will fully cooperate with you, and with other delegations, in a joint effort to make this session successfully complete all its proceedings.  

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Director-General for his comprehensive work report.  Since this is the last time that His Excellency Üzümcü attends a EC session, I would like to express my appreciation for the contributions which he has made to the OPCW in the last eight years.   The Chinese delegation wishes also to thank 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.

Mme. Chair,

In November this year, on the basis of the summing-up of the experiences of the implementation of the Convention in the last five years, the Fourth Special Session of the Conference to Review the Operation of the Convention will draw up plans for the implementation of the Convention in the next five years.  That will be high significant for further advancing the full and effective implementation in new circumstances.  China believes that the Review Conference, as well as its preparation process should address the main articles of the Convention in a comprehensive and balanced way, in particular, those concerning the destruction of chemical weapons (CW), industry verification, assistance and protection against CWs and international cooperation.  The States Parties should fully engage themselves and play a leading role.  Through in-depth discussions and patient consultations, and taking full account of the concerns of all sides, they should work to bring about consensus-based results from the Review Conference.  Only by so doing, can the products yielded by the Conference serve to maximize the reflection of the consensus reached by all the parties, and to enhance the solidarity and authority of the OPCW.

The Chinese delegation commends the Ambassador of Indonesia, Chairperson of the Working Group for the Preparation of the Fourth Review Conference for his work, and looks forward to joining all the other parties in participating in the next phase of the preparation process on the basis of the principles of transparency and consensus.  China will also present its national position papers on relevant issues as soon as possible.

China is of the view that efforts should be continued to ensure that the destruction of all categories of CWs remains a core object and a priority purpose of the Convention.  In the recent years, major progress has been constantly made in the destruction of CW stockpiles.  In particular, Russia, Libya and Iraq have successively completed their destruction operations.  However, China must point out that despite some progress made in the destruction of Japanese ACWs in China, the overall destruction process has been repeatedly delayed.  Although seventy-three years have passed since the Japanese war of aggression against China, Japanese ACWs are still posing a real threat and harm to the lives and properties of the people and the ecology and environment in China.  China finds this situation deeply worrying.  China urges Japan to honour earnestly its obligation as an abandoning State Party under the Convention by increasing its resources inputs and accelerating the process of the investigation, excavation, recovery, identification and destruction of Japanese ACWs, so as to complete the destruction at an early date within the timeframe adopted by the Council at its Eighty-Fourth Session, and return a clean land to the Chinese people.  China will as always provide appropriate cooperation.  The OPCW should continue to ensure its resources inputs for the relevant verification.  And the Council, the Conference and the Review Conference should well perform their reviewing and monitoring duties.    

Mme. Chair,

China has consistently advocated that all the parties should maintain their solidarity, fulfil their respective responsibilities, and fully and precisely implement the decisions by the Council on the Syrian CWs and the relevant resolutions of the UN.  In the past five years, the OPCW has worked fruitfully on the issue of the Syrian CWs, particularly on their destruction.  This is attributed to the unremitting efforts by and active cooperation between the parties concerned.  It must be pointed out that, be it the political solution in Syria or the issue of the Syrian CWs, it could not be a smooth process.  Problems of one kind or another would be encountered.  Currently, different parties have major differences of views on the investigation of the incidents of the use of CWs in Syria.  China believes that the more this happens, the more necessary it is for all sides to stand patient and firm, and stay the general course of a political solution, instead of easily closing the door to dialogue.     

As a victim of the scourge of CWs, China has been strongly against the use of CWs by any state, organization or individual under any circumstance and for any purpose.  China stands for bringing any perpetrator of or responsible party for such a use to justice.  However, China finds it deeply regrettable that at the recently concluded Fourth Special Session of the Conference, a decision on which views were highly divided among different parties was adopted through a vote.  China is profoundly concerned about the potential implications which such a move will have on the process of addressing the issue of the Syrian CWs, on the Fourth Review Conference, and on the future development of the OPCW.    

It is China's hope that all sides will make efforts to avoid further confrontations and conflicts, uphold the spirits of respecting each other and seeking common grounds while shelving differences, show flexibility and try to meet each other halfway, and work to bridge the differences through consultations and dialogues, so as to tackle the threat posed by CWs jointly, preserve the authority and effectiveness of the Convention practically, and create conditions for the success of the Fourth Review Conference.

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

Thank you, Mme. Chair.

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