Practice Relating to the Prohibition of Certain Types of Landmines
In 1998, in a White Paper on China’s National Defence, China stated that it was “in favour of imposing proper and rational restrictions on the use and transfer of [anti-personnel landmines] in a bid to achieve the ultimate objective of a comprehensive prohibition of such landmines through a phased approach”.
At the First Meeting of the States Parties to the Ottawa Convention in 1999, China, attending the meeting as an observer, expressed the hope that “the international community could make joint efforts to further improve the international security environment, and to create favourable conditions for the ultimate goal of a complete ban on [anti-personnel landmines] in a bid to eliminate the threat to innocent civilians by [anti-personnel landmines]”.
At the Second Annual Conference of High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in 2000, China stated in relation to anti-personnel landmines:
Complete prohibition is undoubtedly the best solution … However, it should also be recognized that given the divergence of national conditions, countries may differ in terms of their respective security concerns and military technological development levels.
In 2004, in a white paper on “China’s National Defense in 2004”, China stated:
China attaches great importance to the solution of the humanitarian issue arising from landmines. While strictly implementing the Amended Landmine Protocol, it is strengthening communications and exchanges with the states parties to the Ottawa Convention [on Anti-Personnel Mines].
In 2005, in a working paper relating to mines other than anti-personnel mines (MOTAPM), China proposed:
11. To address the issue of detectability, a State should adopt at least one of the following two measures:
(i) To endeavor to develop advanced mine detection technology and equipment (such as non-metallic mine detectors and detectors adopting the working principle of infrared thermovision or soil dielectric coefficient), so to improve the efficiency of detecting MOTAPM through various ways and means.
(ii) To prohibit the use of MOTAPM, which are not detectable by commonly available mine detection equipment. A detectable MOTAPM is a MOTAPM, which should, upon emplacement, incorporate in its construction a material or device that enables it to be detected by commonly available technical mine detection equipment and provides a response signal equivalent to a response signal from eight grammes or more of iron in a single coherent mass buried five cm beneath the ground.
14. To address the issue of self-destruction, self-neutralization and self-deactivation, a State should adopt at least one of the following measures:
(i) All remotely delivered MOTAPM should have self-destruction or self-neutralization/self-deactivation capabilities.
(ii) All remotely delivered MOTAPM located outside a perimeter-marked area that is documented and monitored by military personnel or protected by fencing or other means to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians from the area should incorporate self-destruction or self-neutralization/self-deactivation mechanisms.
(iii) The use of remotely delivered MOTAPM without self-destruction or self-neutralization/self-deactivation capabilities outside its national territory should be prohibited.
In 2005, in a white paper on “China’s Endeavours for Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation”, China stated:
Though China is not a party to the Ottawa Convention [on Anti-Personnel Mines], it endorses the humanitarian purposes and objectives of the Convention and has been constantly strengthening exchanges and communication with its States Parties.
In 2007, on the 10th Anniversary of the Opening for Signature of the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention, China stated in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly:
Since its accession to the Amended Protocol on Landmines [the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons] in 1998, China has all along strictly abided by the provisions of the Protocol. Practical and effective measures were taken to destroy or technically modify those APLs [anti-personnel landmines] which failed to meet relevant technical requirements of the Amended Protocol. This September, China submitted its annual report on time on the implementation of the Amended Protocol on Landmines as usual.
Although China is not a State Party to the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention, it endorses and shares the purpose and objective of the Convention, and appreciates the humanitarianism enshrined in the Convention.
In 2007, during a debate in the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly, China stated with regard to assistance in mine action:
China respects and appreciates the choice of the State Parities of the Ottawa Convention [on Anti-Personnel Mines] to address the humanitarian concerns caused by landmines by means of [a] comprehensive ban on landmines. Although China is not a State Party of the Ottawa Convention, it endorses and shares the purpose and objective of the Convention.
In 2007, at the Eighth Meeting of the States Parties to the Ottawa Convention, China’s observer delegation stated:
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Ottawa Convention [on Anti-Personnel Mines]. Over 10 years, the Convention has made important contributions to mitigating the humanitarian concerns caused by anti-personnel landmines (APLs).
The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the humanitarian concerns caused by APLs and supports efforts made by the international community to address these concerns. China appreciates the humanitarianism enshrined in the Ottawa Convention [on Anti-Personnel Mines] and endorses its purposes and objectives. Although China is not a State Party to the Ottawa Convention, it has voted in favor of the resolutions entitled “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction” at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly in recent years, which fully demonstrates our recognition for and high attention to the important role of the Ottawa Convention.
China has made unremitting efforts in resolving the humanitarian problems caused by APLs. As a State Party to the Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), China has strictly implemented obligations of the Protocol. China conducted technical modification to or destroyed stockpiled APLs which failed to meet the requirements of the Protocol. China has also made progress in developing alternative weapons to APLs.
China has exercised maximum restraint in exporting APLs. In fact, China ceased exporting APLs long time ago.
China has all along unswervingly contributed to maintaining peace and promoting common development of the world. China used to suffer from landmines, therefore deeply understands the aspirations of the people of mine-affected countries for safety and development. China is willing to make contributions to releasing these countries from landmine problems. China sincerely hopes to further enhance exchanges and cooperation with the States Parties to the Ottawa Convention, relevant international organizations and civil society, so as to promote international mine actions with the aim of completely resolving the humanitarian problems caused by APLs.