China opposes arms race in outer space: envoy

Updated: 2011-10-18 09:30


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UNITED NATIONS - China on Monday voiced its firm opposition to the weaponization of outer space and an arms race in outer space and its determination to attach importance to the steps for more transparency and confidence building on outer space.

The statement came as Wang Qun, the Chinese ambassador for disarmament affairs, was speaking at the thematic debate on outer space at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly. The First Committee is in charge of disarmament and international security.

"The Chinese government always firmly opposes to the weaponization of outer space and an arms race in outer space, and dedicates itself to efforts for maintaining peace and security in outer space,"  Wang said.

China has been the co-sponsor of the UN General Assembly resolution "Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space," and actively promotes the implementation of the resolution at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, he said.

"China and Russia have jointly submitted to the CD the draft of 'Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT)'," he said.

"In 2009, focusing on the comments and proposals made by many other CD members, China and Russia submitted to the CD the working paper, further clarifying and explaining the PPWT accordingly," he said.

"We hope that CD could start substantive discussion based on the PPWT as early as possible, and we would like to stress that we hope all sides could make joint efforts in enriching and improving the PPWT, discussing the effective way to deal with a series of issues related to PPWT including verification," he said.    

"China attaches importance to outer space Transparency and Confidence Building Measures (TCBM), and is open towards relevant initiatives and discussions," he said. "We believe that appropriate and viable TCBMs are of positive significance, as they enhance mutual trust, reduce accidental errors, regulate outer space activities and maintain outer space security, and are the useful supplements to the international legally-binding instrument on the prevention of the weaponization of outer space and an arms race in outer space."

"Peace, development and cooperation are the irreversible trends of the times," he said. "A early conclusion of a new international legally-binding instrument aiming at preventing weaponization of outer space is of fundamental importance to permanent peace and tranquility in outer space," he said. 

"China is willing to join hands with all countries to contribute to maintaining peace and security in outer space," he added.