Chinese diplomat urges U.S. to fulfill obligations under Biological Weapons Convention

(Xinhua) 09:25, September 10, 2021

GENEVA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese diplomat on Wednesday urged the United States to fulfill its obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in an open, transparent and responsible manner, and to support multilateral efforts for restarting negotiations on a verification protocol.

Speaking at the BWC's Meeting of Experts on the Institutional Strengthening of the Convention, Li Song, China's ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary for disarmament affairs, stressed that promoting the comprehensive, balanced and effective implementation of the BWC is in the common interests of the vast number of States Parties and the international community.

"China believes that in order to institutionally strengthen the convention, it is imperative to re-establish the overall goal of establishing an effective verification mechanism and restart negotiations on a verification protocol," Li said.

The Chinese diplomat said that as a country with the most bio-military activities in the world, the United States has bio-defense bases at home as well as more than 200 bio-laboratories all over the world.

The serious lack of transparency of those facilities and their potential security risks that cannot be ignored have always been a major concern of the international community, Li said.

"For 20 years, the United States has been opposing to establishing a verification mechanism of the convention, and has single-handedly blocked the resumption of negotiations for this purpose. We urge the United States to reconsider its position, and support the multilateral efforts for restarting negotiations on a verification protocol," he said.

The Ninth Review Conference of the BWC to be held next year is an important opportunity to further strengthen the mechanism of the convention from an institutional perspective, Li said.

"We should fully affirm the central role of the convention in eliminating the threat of biological weapons, strengthening global biosafety governance, and promoting peaceful use and international cooperation, should bear in mind the common goal of universal security and common prosperity, should practice true multilateralism, and should achieve win-win cooperation through concerted efforts," he added. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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