China, Russia introduce new draft treaty to prevent arms race in outer space

GENEVA, June 11 (PNA/Xinhua) — China and Russia on Tuesday jointly submitted to a UN-sponsored disarmament conference an updated draft international treaty on banning the deployment of weapons in outer space.

The updated draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects, was presented at a plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament, the world’s sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations.

The new draft treaty has supplemented, revised and refined some clauses of the one China and Russia presented in 2008, including definition and scope of the treaty, organizations as well as mechanisms to solve disputes, said Wu Haitao, China’s ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary for disarmament affairs.

Wu, who is also deputy permanent representative to the UN Office in Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland, said this new draft treaty is aimed at advancing the Conference on Disarmament toward negotiations for signing an international legal document.

China has been prioritizing the prevention of arms race in outer space at the conference because the growing risks of the weaponization of outer space and arms race in outer space with the rapid development of space technology, will hinder the peaceful use of outer space, ruin the safe mutual trust between related countries in outer space, break global strategic balance and stability and hamper nuclear disarmament, Wu said.

Meanwhile, the current legislation on outer space cannot prevent the weaponization of outer space or prevent the use or the threat of force against outer space objects, Wu said.

Under this circumstance, Wu called on the international community to adopt preventive measures by signing a new international legal document at an early date to prevent the weaponization of outer space.

China and Russia are willing to listen to advices and suggestions from other parties and continue to improve the draft treat in order to lay a foundation for the start of practical negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament, Wu said. (PNA/Xinhua)