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Joint Declaration of the People's Republic of China and the European Union on Non-proliferation and Arms Control
2004/12/15

1. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery poses a serious threat to international peace and security, as it was underlined by the United Nations Security Council in its Resolution 1540. Therefore the People's Republic of China and the European Union welcome this Resolution which was unanimously adopted on 28 April 2004.

2. The possibility of the proliferation of WMD, and their means of delivery as well as related materials and technology, to terrorists and other non-state actors is real and adds a new dimension to this threat, as well as a renewed urgency of concerted and more focused actions and cooperation.

3. The fundamental purpose of non-proliferation is to maintain international and regional peace, security and stability, which is in the interests of China and the EU as well as the entire human kind. Therefore, efforts should be made to address proliferation issues through political and diplomatic measures and international cooperation within the framework of international law.

4. China and the EU agree that prevention of proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons should not hamper international cooperation in materials, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes while goals of peaceful utilization should not be used as a cover for proliferation.

5. The EU welcomes China's white paper on "China's Non-proliferation Policy and Measures" issued in December 2003. China welcomes the EU "Strategy Against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction" adopted in December 2003. China and the EU have identified many common elements in these two documents and are resolved to work together, within their strategic partnership, to strengthen the international non-proliferation system, by promoting the universalisation of, and the compliance with, all international non-proliferation and disarmament treaties and instruments, by supporting the role and ability of the international verification agencies (International Atomic Energy Agency, Organisation on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) to fulfill their responsibilities and by fostering the specific role and responsibilities of the United Nations Security Council, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

6. The illicit trade of WMD-related materials, equipment and technology is a matter of serious concern for China and the EU. The international community must be united in its endeavor to strengthen international cooperation in that area. The active and positive engagement and cooperation of as many countries as possible are indispensable. We must reinforce our efforts to tackle illicit trafficking in materials, equipment and technology related to WMD and means of delivery and fight against all illicit procurement networks.

7. China and the EU are both underlining the importance of a regional approach in the implementation of our strategies for fighting the proliferation of WMD, and regard in this respect ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as one of the important fora for consultation on regional, political and security issues. China and the EU will explore possibilities to launch joint initiatives in the area of non-proliferation in the framework of the ARF.

8. Positive and active efforts must also be made to strengthen controls over exports of conventional weapons. The arms control regimes concerning certain conventional weapons like landmines, need to be strengthened. Efforts to prevent illicit trade of small arms and light weapons and flows of those weapons that would impair regional peace and stability, should be enhanced. Early ratification by states parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which have not yet done so, of its Protocol V, on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), and its speedy entry into force would be welcomed.

9. China and the EU, as important forces in the field of international security, bear significant responsibility for the maintenance of international and regional peace, security and stability, and will continue to play a positive role in promoting the international non-proliferation process. Strengthening cooperation between China and the EU will be conducive to the multilateral non-proliferation process, as well as to expanding and deepening our comprehensive strategic partnership.

10. Guided by the shared concerns and aims described above, China and the EU will work together to achieve their common goals, collectively and individually through the identification of concrete measures, including the following:

(a) Recognising each other as a major strategic partner in the area of disarmament and nonproliferation, China and the EU will deepen their cooperation in these pursuits and promote close policy dialogues at various levels at opportunities presented by the major international conferences and other fora.

(b) Reaffirming their commitment to the international treaty system, China and the EU will promote the universalisation, entry into force, implementation and strengthening of the treaties, conventions and norms in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols. Both China and the EU stress the importance of universalisation of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) and the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT).

(c) Stressing their determination to support international institutions and agencies charged with the verification and upholding of compliance with these treaties and agreements, China and the EU will work together to ensure strict compliance with the obligations under disarmament and non-proliferation treaties. China and the EU support further effective measures to strengthen and improve the functioning of the above institutions and agencies.

(d) Reaffirming their support of the United Nations to play an important role in non-proliferation, China and the EU will work actively together to ensure the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540.

(e) China and the EU appreciate their respective efforts in facilitating a political resolution of the Iran nuclear issue. China and the EU welcome the agreement reached between France, Germany and the UK, supported by the High Representative, and Iran on Iran's suspension of enrichment related and reprocessing activities. Both China and the EU hope that progress will be made in the negotiations of the EU with Iran on a mutually acceptable agreement on long-term arrangements, that should include objective guarantees that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes, and that the Iran nuclear issue will be resolved within the framework of IAEA at the earliest opportunity. China appreciates the efforts of EU members in encouraging Libya's denunciation of its WMD programs through diplomatic negotiations. The EU appreciates and supports China's positive and constructive role in facilitating a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula. China and the EU reaffirm in this context their support for a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

(f) Realising the contribution of political cooperation with partners in the fight against WMD proliferation, China and the EU affirm their intention to mainstream non-proliferation policies into our wider relations with other countries.

(g) Recognising the importance of strengthening the export control of WMD-related materials and technologies and promoting international cooperation to this end, China and the EU agree to take effective measures to improve their respective export control system and enforcement measures. The EU welcomes China's efforts and progress made in enhancing export control legislation, as well as its entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and its efforts in developing relations with other multilateral export control regimes, such as Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Australia Group (AG) and Wassenaar Arrangement (WA).

(h) Recognising the importance of treaty based arms control and disarmament, China and the EU will work together to ensure the expeditious adoption of a programme of work in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

(i) Recognising the need for regular and focused consultations, China and the EU identified priority areas for specific cooperation in the list attached hereto. This list will be revised, as necessary, through regular consultations at the China-EU Troika Working Group or other designated channels.

11. This statement was signed in The Hague, 8 December 2004.

For the People's Republic of China

(Li Zhaoxing)

Minister of Foreign Affairs

For the European Union

(Bernard Bot)

President of the Council of Ministers of the European Union

(Xavier Solana)

Secretary General of the Council of the European Union,

High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy

ANNEX

PRIORITY AREAS FOR SPECIFIC COOPERATION

With respect to paragraph 10(i) in the Joint Declaration, the priority areas for specific cooperation are identified as follows.

Enhancing the role of the United Nations

¨ Consultation and coordination within the framework of the United Nations and other multilateral fora aimed at enhancing the important role of the United Nations, and the Security Council in particular, in non-proliferation. China and the EU will actively work together to ensure effective implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540.

Nuclear non-proliferation

¨ Consultation and coordination on proposals to strengthen international nuclear non-proliferation system.

¨ Promotion of the universalisation of the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguard Agreements and Additional Protocols.

¨ Early entry into force of the CTBT.

¨ Promotion of the early commencement of negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the Conference on Disarmament.

¨ Cooperation on enhancement of the physical protection of nuclear and radiological materials including in the context of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM).

Biological and chemical weapons

¨ Promotion of the universalisation of the BTWC and more effective functioning of the BTWC through active participation in the BTWC programme of work, exchange of views and cooperation on strengthening the BTWC.

¨ Exchange of information, sharing expertise and cooperation in fields related to BTWC, such as bio-security and the surveillance of epidemic diseases.

¨ Promotion of the universalisation of the CWC and cooperation to help strengthen its national implementation.

Export control and other non-proliferation measures

¨ Exchange of experiences, information and cooperation in export controls of WMD-related materials, equipment and technologies, on a bilateral basis and in the context of nonproliferation regimes (e.g. NSG).

¨ Cooperation on specific problems related to controls of the export of weapons or WMD-related materials, equipment and technologies with a view to avoiding the risk that they could fall into the hands of terrorists and/or have a destabilising effect on international and regional peace and security.

¨ Cooperation in strengthening of law enforcement, customs, border controls capabilities including, inter alia, information sharing, experience exchange and personnel training to prevent proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery. A first concrete step in this context is the organization of an EU-China export control workshop which will take place in China shortly after the Summit.

¨ The EU supports China's entry into MTCR and further dialogue between China and AG as well as WA, which is conducive to the cause of international non-proliferation.

Conventional weapons

¨ Exchange of views on the implementation and expansion of the participation to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.

¨ Exchange of views on existing and possible future mechanisms dealing with the humanitarian effects of landmines.

¨ Exchange of views on the implementation of the United Nations programme for combating the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons.

¨ Promotion of the early entry into force and universalisation of CCW Protocol V on ERW.

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