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|Thursday, August 30, 2001, updated at 08:14(GMT+8)|
China Supports Establishment of Nuclear-Free Zone in Central AsiaChina supports the goal of establishing a nuclear-free zone in Central Asia, Director of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Tian Zengpei said at an international meeting that opened Wednesday in Alma Ata.
The two-day meeting named "a nuclear-free world in the 21st century" was held by the Kazakh government to mark the 10th anniversary of the closure of Kazakh Semipalatinsk nuclear complex.
Tian said that to set up nuclear-free zones is an effective way to prevent nuclear proliferation and China supports the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in Central Asia, which will not only benefit international nuclear disarmament and non- proliferation, but also enhance regional peace and security.
On the issue of non-proliferation, Tian said China strictly observes international agreements and the commitments it has made, and firmly opposes any form of proliferation of nuclear weapons to any country under any excuses.
China pursues a policy of not endorsing, encouraging or engaging in nuclear weapons proliferation, neither will it assist other countries in developing nuclear weapons, he said.
From the first day when China possessed nuclear weapons, China has unconditionally committed not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and vowed not to use nuclear weapons against countries that do not have such weapons or against nuclear-free zones, he said.
Tian pointed out that all nuclear countries should commit unconditionally not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against countries without nuclear weapons or nuclear-free zones, and conclude an international agreement to this effect.
To prevent nuclear proliferation, Tian said, the international community should work to build a just and reasonable new international political and economic order so as to remove the causes for countries to acquire, develop or keep nuclear weapons.
Representatives from 14 countries including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral attended the meeting.
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