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Special> Focus on Korean Peninsula> Beijing Review Exclusive> Opinion
UPDATED: March 28, 2007 NO.14 APR.5, 2007
Battling Nuclear Proliferation
China has conducted fruitful cooperation with the IAEA across a wide range of areas, including research and development for the peaceful use of nuclear energy in agriculture...

As the North Korean and Iranian nuclear issues develop and efforts to resolve them continue, global attention to anti-nuclear proliferation and the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has become even more intense. Pang Sen, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Federation of United Nations Associations and Vice President and Director General of the United Nations Association of China, recently elaborated on these issues in an interview with Beijing Review. Pang, once a senior official of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission (UNMOVIC), has expertise in the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.

Beijing Review: What is China's basic attitude toward the North Korean and Iranian nuclear issues?

Pang Sen: China's attitude toward the above two issues, in my view, can be summarized in two points.

First, China is firmly against any attempt to proliferate weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.

When the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name) announced its nuclear test and the UN Security Council, in reaction, unanimously adopted Resolution 1718 on October 15, 2006, China said it is "resolutely opposed to the nuclear test by the DPRK and nuclear proliferation."

When commenting on the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution on the Iranian nuclear issue on August 1, 2006, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao said China has all along supported the maintenance of the international nuclear nonproliferation system and is opposed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Second, China wishes that the nuclear issues of the DPRK and Iran can be resolved through peaceful and diplomatic negotiations. The Chinese Government said it is determined to achieve a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula peacefully through dialogue and consultation. China urges the parties concerned to keep calm, exercise restraint and adopt a prudent and responsible attitude to prevent the situation from deteriorating.

With regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, China wishes to see no further turbulence in the Middle East, holding that the issue should be peacefully solved through negotiations.

China took an active part in the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue and the talks among Iran, the EU and others. In the negotiation of draft resolutions in the UN Security Council, China also made clear its positions on the above issues. China hopes that the UN Security Council resolutions will create favorable conditions for the peaceful resolution of the issues through dialogue and negotiations.

What is China's stand on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the progress of nuclear nonproliferation around the world?

China acceded to the NPT in March 1992. It views the treaty as a cornerstone of the international nonproliferation regime.

The principles of the NPT are getting broader support, as shown by the indefinite extension of the treaty in 1995. Over the past few years, a number of countries have renounced their nuclear programs. More nuclear weapon-free zones are being established.

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