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

2004-12-11 00:00

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 Na