Statement at the 2nd Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention by H.E. Mr. CHENG Jingye, Head of the Chinese Observer Delegation, Director-General of Dept.of Arms Control and Disarmament
2009/12/22

Madame President,

At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese observer delegation to congratulate you on your election as President of this Conference. I'd like also to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to the Government of the Republic of Colombia to host the Conference.

Ten years after its entry into force, the Ottawa Convention has played an important and positive role in addressing the humanitarian concern caused by Anti-Personnel Landmines (APLs). This Review Conference and its outcomes will further contribute to eliminating the APL problems around the globe.

Madame President,

China is still not in a position to accede to the Ottawa Convention. However, the Chinese Government highly appreciates the humanitarianism enshrined in the Ottawa Convention and endorses the purposes and objectives of the Convention. We have participated in relevant meetings of States Parties and other activities under the Convention as an observer and China voted in favor to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution entitled "Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction" at every session of UNGA since 2005.

Madame President,

The Chinese Government, by pursuing a people-oriented policy, attaches great importance to APLs-related issues. China has actively participated in relevant international efforts in a constructive manner. It's our belief that the national defense need and humanitarian concerns on APLs should be addressed in a balanced way. Therefore, we support resolving problems of APLs within the framework of Certain Conventional Weapons Convention (the CCW).

Over the past five years, China has made unremitting efforts in this regard. We successfully accomplished an 8-year long demining operation, in which an area of land over 5.146 million square meters has been cleared and the passage for boundary demarcation in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the area along Yunnan section of the land border between China and Vietnam have been cleared. The success of this demining action represents the completion of mine clearance of mine-affected areas within China's territory. Furthermore, we have faithfully implemented our obligations under the APII of the CCW and have destroyed numerous outdated and obsolete APLs that did not meet the technical requirements. In addition, China firmly keeps its commitment on not exporting APLs.

Madame President,

Meanwhile, China actively participated in international demining assistance and tried its best to help mine-affected countries. China provided humanitarian demining assistances to 16 developing countries in Asian, African and Latin American countries, which amounted to about RMB 31 million Yuan. These assistances include demining equipments, demining training courses, on-site demining guidance as well as financial contribution.

In 2009, a two-month long humanitarian demining training course was carried out for Afghanistan and Iraq in the city of Nanjing, China, in which 38 demining personnel from these two countries participated. In the same year, we also provided sets of demining equipments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt. In addition, the Chinese Government decided to provide demining assistance to Sri Lanka. In general, practice has shown that the Chinese demining techniques are safe and sophisticated, and its demining equipment is cost-effective and efficient, which are highly applauded by the recipients and relevant international organizations.

Madame President,

I would like to reiterate that the Chinese government remains committed to cooperation and exchanges with States Parties of the Ottawa Convention and relevant international organizations. And we stand ready to work together with all parties and make our due contribution to a comprehensive and complete resolution concerning the humanitarian problems caused by APLs at an earliest possible date.

Thank you, Madame President.

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