China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi reaffirms commitment to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT); progress on CTBTO stations in China
Beijing, 7 August 2013
The Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Lassina Zerbo, met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his trip to China this week. Wang congratulated Zerbo on his assumption of office, and expressed China's full support for him personally and for the organization. Wang also stressed China's continued commitment to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in line with China's policy to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.
Zerbo thanked Wang for China's continued support and the excellent cooperation with the organization. He said that China's disarmament credentials were a "strong basis for China to demonstrate leadership and pave the way for the remaining eight countries to ratify the CTBT, enabling the Treaty's entry into force." Zerbo expressed his confidence that intensified technical and scientific cooperation with China would further strengthen the CTBT's verification regime. This, so his hope, would positively factor into the ratification of the Treaty by China.
Progress on CTBTO stations hosted by China
Zerbo also met with Zhang Yulin, Deputy Minister of the Department of General Armament (GAD), which oversees the country's technical and scientific cooperation with the CTBTO. Zhang similarly assured Zerbo of China's full support and commitment to cooperate with the organization. During the meeting it was agreed to proceed with the provision of data from the CTBTO's monitoring stations in China to the organization's International Data Centre in Vienna. This is part of the testing and evaluation process that marks the first formal step towards certification (formal acceptance) of the monitoring stations in China.
Installation of infrasound station at Kunming
In a ceremony marking the installation of an infrasound station at Kunming in southwest China, one of the last monitoring stations in the country to be installed, Zerbo noted: "Kunming is the first CTBTO station that I have visited as the organization's Executive Secretary. To me, it is a symbol of the renewed momentum in our cooperation to ensure the completion of the CTBT's verification regime".
Chinese support for on-site inspection capabilities
In support of the CTBTO's capabilities to conduct on-site inspections, China will host a technical workshop in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, in November 2013. The workshop is being organized in preparation for the next major on-site inspection exercise, the Integrated Field Exercise 2014, in Jordan. China has also developed and contributed mobile equipment for detecting radioactive noble gas during CTBT on-site inspections.
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions, thus hampering the first-time development of nuclear weapons as well as significant enhancements to nuclear arsenals. To date 183 countries have signed the CTBT, of which 159 have ratified (formally endorsed). However, eight States whose ratification is a precondition for the Treaty’s entry into force have yet to ratify: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.
The CTBTO is building a verification system to detect any nuclear explosion. The International Monitoring System will consist of 337 monitoring facilities when complete: around 85% have already been established and are sending data to the CTBTO’s headquarters in Vienna. The system quickly, reliably and precisely detected all three nuclear tests announced by the DPRK.
After installation of the infrasound station at Kunming is complete, 10 of the 11 CTBTO monitoring stations hosted by China will have been installed, at a total cost of around US$ 11 million. None of these stations are connected so far to the CTBTO’s International Data Centre in Vienna. The CTBTO and the competent Chinese authorities have held discussions over the last two years in order to overcome technical and other issues related to the provision of the monitoring data. See here for details on China’s cooperation with the CTBTO.
For further information on the CTBT, please see www.ctbto.org – your resource on ending nuclear testing. More information on the trip including statements will also be made available on the website. Free media resources: image packages.
click here for the Chinese version of the Press Release.