China calls for legal instrument on arms control in outer space

Beijing: China on Wednesday called upon the relevant countries to support and participate in negotiations for a legal instrument on arms control in outer space. Certain countries have long refused to acknowledge the fundamental approach of negotiating a legal instrument on technical grounds and even questioned the basic consensus of preventing an arms race in outer space, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Wang Wenbin said during his regular briefing.

His remarks came after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Monday adopted a draft resolution titled “No first placement of weapons in outer space,” introduced by China and Russia, by a recorded vote of 127 in favor. Wang said, safeguarding security and peace in outer space and preventing an arms race is the long-term common aspiration of the international community.

The first UN special session devoted to disarmament in 1978 proposed to prevent an arms race in outer space through negotiation, he said. For over four decades since then, the UNGA has adopted relevant resolutions with overwhelming support every year that call for negotiations of new international legal instruments and reflect the concerns of the international community on moves that could turn outer space into a weapon or battlefield, added Wang. China, Russia and other countries have submitted to the UNGA the draft resolution on “No first placement of weapons in outer space” for many years in a row. “The fact that the resolution was adopted every year with strong support speaks to the international community’s firm support for negotiations on an international legal instrument on arms control in outer space and for not placing weapons in outer space,” he added.