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Statement of the Chinese Delegation at the Forty-Eighth Session of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization

2017/06/26

22 June 2017, Vienna

China commends the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) in developing the draft programme and budget for the next biennium in strict accordance with the principle of "zero real growth". We hope that while increasing the efficiency of finance and resource utilization, the PTS will continue to strengthen its support to capacity building programme and improve the transparency of finance for capacity building.

A balanced development of International Monitoring System (IMS), International Data Center (IDC) and On-site Inspection (OSI) is the key to the preparation for the implementation of CTBT. China notes that there are still different views on the roadmap for Phase 5b of IDC progressive commissioning, and we welcome continued in-depth discussions on relevant issues at this session. China commends the PTS for indicating its commitment on different occasions, to adhere to the principles governing the provisional operation and testing while carrying out activities under Phase 5b. We encourage PTS to take a balanced consideration of views of all parties, and develop technical requirements and validation and acceptance standards for this roadmap on a quantifiable and verifiable basis.

China acknowledges the progress made on the permanent Equipment Storage and Maintenance Facility (ESMF) for OSI. We encourage PTS to ensure the transparency of information in this regard in line with relevant PrepCom decisions.

China welcomes and supports the nomination by the Office of the Auditor-General of Thailand for the position of External Auditor to the PrepCom. We encourage the wider participation of developing countries in all areas of work under the Treaty.

We are currently faced with a complicated international nuclear disarmament landscape, and a heightened uncertainty for the future of nuclear disarmament. The value and status of CTBT in the international arms control regime is beyond challenge. The PrepCom and PTS of CTBTO should stay true to their purposes and in accordance with their mandates, continue to advance the preparation for the implementation of the Treaty and its early entry into force. Continued efforts should be made to strengthen the vitality and attractiveness of relevant Treaty mechanisms.

This delegation takes note of interventions by some delegation regarding the relations between the PrepCom and the negotiation process of "Ban Treaty", and would like to say some few words on this matter.

It is China's belief that the duty and mandate of the PrepCom is to promote the preparation for the Treaty implementation, and taking part into the negotiation process of "Ban Treaty" clearly goes beyond the duty and mandate. China hopes the PTS could act in caution and proceed its work strictly within its duty and mandate.

As one of the first countries that signed the Treaty, China is always committed to supporting PTS's efforts in steadily developing IMS. In December last year, the Lanzhou Radionuclide Station became the first certified station in China. The validation and acceptance for four other stations in China also enter into a crucial stage this year. Under the close cooperation with PTS, China has successfully received recent visits of PTS experts to China for the maintenance and certification of the relevant stations. China will continue to work with all parties to make active contribution to the preparation for the Treaty implementation.