By Yang Tiehu
BEIJING, Dec.16 -- The 16th Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-proliferation was held via video link from December 9 to December 10. Senior officials from the host country Japan and other 20 countries, including China, ROK, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, France and India, attended the meeting and had in-depth discussions on the current international non-proliferation situation, regional hotspot issues on non-proliferation, capacity building for non-proliferation export control and international cooperation.
Fu Cong, director-general of the Department of Arms Control of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pointed out that the existing non-proliferation mechanism should be consolidated and strengthened. Although the international non-proliferation framework established after the World War II based on international treaties, UN Security Council resolutions and related international organizations is not perfect, it has played an indispensable role in preventing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and maintaining international peace and security. This regime is under a lot of stress against the current geopolitical landscape and it becomes ever more urgent to safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the existing non-proliferation regime, said Fu.
Fu pointed out that it is necessary to further increase the universality of major non-proliferation related international legal instruments, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to ensure comprehensive and balanced fulfillment. Meanwhile, we need to ensure the proper functioning of major international bodies of arms control and non-proliferation in strict accordance with provisions set forth by the relevant treaties and conventions, and achieve consensus on core issues related to implementation of treaty obligations, said Fu.
The review conferences of the NPT and BWC and the comprehensive review of the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 to be held in 2021 provide good opportunities for member states to formulate concrete measures to strengthen relevant treaty mechanisms. China looks forward to working with all parties to achieve substantive outcomes from these meetings, said Fu.
At the same time, he also stressed that trying to divide the world along the lines of ideology and promoting technology decoupling by transforming these export control arrangements into a new Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) can only harm the international efforts on non-proliferation. Frequently resorting to vote on key issues without full consultation can only further polarize states parties and paralyze the functioning of the organizations. We need to make the existing multilateral export control arrangements more inclusive and less discriminatory. Principles, policies and consensus on non-proliferation matter only when translated into concrete actions through effective national implementation, said Fu.
Fu pointed out that due consideration should be given to the specific conditions and realities of each individual country, especially developing countries, most of which suffer from weak non-proliferation institutions, legislations and technical expertise. Closer and more tailored international cooperation is needed for capacity building assistance to developing countries. The 1540 Committee and other relevant organizations can play a bigger role in providing match-making services for various countries.
He reiterated that China will continue to hold the idea of a community of shared future for mankind and actively participate in international non-proliferation efforts. China is ready to enhance non-proliferation policy exchanges and cooperation with all countries, including the incoming US administration, in a spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. And China is also ready to engage in dialogues and develop ties with the multilateral export control regimes on the basis of balanced rights and obligations, said Fu.