International Meeting
2001 World Conference against A & H Bombs

Niu Qiang
Chinese Peoplefs Association for Peace and Disarmament

Letfs Join Hands and Strive for the Total Elimination
and Thorough Destruction of All Nuclear Weapons in the World

First of all, I wish to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to our Japanese host for kindly inviting me and my colleague to attend this important conference, and for the wonderful hospitality and arrangements. We are also happy to have this opportunity to meet so many old and new friends, to be able to exchange views and learn from each other for our shared cause of maintaining and safeguarding world peace, stability, common development and prosperity. We are confident this conference, as the impressive conference last year, will be a great success.

Dear friends and colleagues,

We have entered the 21st century, it is our duty and obligation to make every unremitting effort to achieve the goal of total elimination and thorough destruction of all nuclear weapons and building a nuclear-free world. In the last century, human kind underwent the scourge of two world wars, saw the tragedy of the use of nuclear bombs, endured the hardships of the cold war, and was threatened by nuclear confrontation. We paid a heavy price.

International arms control and the disarmament process are closely linked with the overall situation of international security. They more often than not complement each other. With the end of the Cold War and of the world pattern of bi-polarity, great changes have taken place in the international security situation. The trend of multi-polarity characterized by dialogue and cooperation has experienced tortuous but sustained development. Society seeks progress. This is the trend of our times. Facts have shown that a favorable international security environment can provide a driving force for arms control and disarmament. Similarly, continuous progress in arms control and disarmament could lay a solid foundation for maintaining international security. For several years after the end of the Cold War, the overall international situation moved towards relaxation. Against such a backdrop, a series of achievements have been made in multilateral arms control and disarmament. But now, after having scored some widely acclaimed achievements, the disarmament process has come to a crucial crossroads.@ In the face of this reality, it is one of the most important tasks for the peace movement and the governments of various countries to consolidate the accomplishments of arms control and deepen cooperation in their efforts for further disarmament. At present, one of the priorities is to maintain the global strategic balance and stability and safeguard and strengthen the existing general system of treaties and conventions of arms control and disarmament. In this connection, I would like particularly to mention the NMD program. It is obvious that there is widespread concern and strong opposition to it across the world. People fear that the U.S.fs NMD program will hamper the international arms control and disarmament process and even trigger a new round of arms race.@ As the only remaining superpower, the U.S. already possesses the largest and most advanced nuclear arsenal in the world. In addition, the U.S. pursues a nuclear deterrence policy based on the first use of nuclear weapons. Under these circumstances, NMD could well become a strong backup and multiplier of the U.S. strategic offensive force. It may start off an arms race into outer space, and may also extend the arms race from offensive weapons to defensive weapons. NMD is only the tip of the iceberg of the dangerous weaponization of outer space. At the same time, the U.S. NMD program will undermine the international non-proliferation regime and efforts. Obviously, NMD is not an effective solution to the problem of missile proliferation. Instead, it will undercut the very foundation of the international non-proliferation regime, and even stimulate further proliferation of missiles. It should also be pointed out that the present international debate around the NMD issue is, in essence, about what kind of international order should be established, and a choice between a uni-polar and multi-polar world. More and more people have come to realize that, the real motive behind the NMD program is to attempt to achieve absolute security. Once its NMD is completed, no matter whether it is really effective or not, it would further strengthen the U.S. tendency towards uni-lateralism, and the tendency to use or threaten to use force. As a result, the military factor will tend to play a bigger role in international relations, and a huge amount of financial resources and materials that would otherwise be devoted to economic development, poverty relief, environment a protection, etc. will have to be diverted to arms buildup. Under such circumstances, I do not think there will be real security or lasting stability in the world. It should be also noted that the NMD program will not only undermine global strategic balance and stability, but also disrupt efforts for security in the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, we all know that the U.S. intends to deploy TMD in the region. TMD itself may not constitute a violation of the ABM treaty. But the question is how large is the scale and what is the nature and function of the TMD that the U.S. intends to deploy in Asia. If this TMD can be used as a part of the NMD and will constitute the forward deployment of the NMD in the region, as some people believe, then its negative impact will certainly be grave and worrying in terms of security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dear friends and colleagues,

We are to discuss and work together for the ultimate goal of a nuclear free world, to ensure a 21st century world free of nuclear weapons. To attain this noble objective, it is necessary to stress at the moment that the countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to reduce substantially their nuclear stockpile. This will not only be conducive to global peace and stability, but more importantly, it will create favorable condition for other nuclear-weapon states to participate in the process of multilateral nuclear disarmament. At the same time, all nuclear states should undertake unconditionally not to be the first to use nuclear weapons. They should also pledge unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states. The development and deployment of NMD and weapons in outer space should be stopped and a convention on banning nuclear weapons should be concluded at an early date, so that mankind can take a major step in the direction of the complete destruction and total elimination nuclear weapons, and in building a nuclear free world.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

To the 2001 Wolrd Conference against A & H Bombs