Practice Relating to Rule 83. Removal or Neutralization of Landmines
In 2003, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, China stated:
In recent years, China has been actively participating in international demining assistance efforts and has donated a large amount of detecting and demining equipment to mine-affected countries. Moreover, China sent two groups of demining experts to Eritrea for on-site training and instruction in 2002 and 2003. This year, China joined the Mine Action Support Group.
We are ready to cooperate with all interested countries and international organizations in the future with a view to providing further assistance to mine-affected countries.
In 2004, in a position paper submitted to the UN General Assembly, China stated:
China understands and attaches importance to the humanitarian concerns of the international community over indiscriminate injuries to innocent civilians caused by landmines. It has always supported and taken an active part in international efforts to solve the problem. As a State Party to the [1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons], China has strictly honored its commitments and vigorously participated in international de-mining assistance.
In 2004, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, China stated:
In recent years, China has been an active participant in international de-mining cooperation. We have provided mine-affected countries with de-mining assistance including funding, equipment and training. Last April, China and Australian Network of ICBL co-sponsored a Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Cooperation Workshop in Kunming. This workshop promoted exchanges and cooperation between donor countries and mine-affected countries. In the future, we will continue to give our support, within our capacity, to international mine clearance operations. We are also ready to intensify exchanges and cooperation with all interested countries and international organizations in this regard.
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. China continues to provide assistance in international mine clearance efforts. After providing assistance to Eritrea in this regard in 2002, China sent another group of mine clearance experts to that country to give guidance on de-mining operations in 2003, trained a total of 120 mine clearance specialists for Eritrea, and provided Eritrea with de-mining equipment. China joined the Mine Action Supporting Group, headquartered in New York, in 2003. China and the Australian Network of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) co-sponsored the Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Cooperation Workshop in Kunming, Yunnan Province, in April 2004.
In 2005, in a working paper relating to mines other than anti-personnel mines (MOTAPM), China proposed:
31. All MOTAPM minefields should be marked and fenced as early as possible after conflict so as to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians and humanitarian personnel and vehicles from the area. All MOTAPM minefields emplaced during the conflict should be cleared as soon as possible upon cessation of the conflict.
32. All MOTAPM minefields emplaced by a State outside its own territory during the conflict shall be fenced and marked immediately by the State upon cessation of the conflict. The documentation of such MOTAPM minefields shall be provided to the State where the minefields are located, as well as relevant international humanitarian organizations.
33. A State which has emplaced MOTAPM minefields outside its own territory and the manufacturing State of the emplaced MOTAPM have the obligation to assist the State where such MOTAPM minefields are located in clearing the minefields as soon as possible upon cessation of the conflict.
34. Strengthening post-conflict demining efforts is the ultimate and most effective way to address the humanitarian concerns caused by MOTAPM. The civilian and humanitarian organization casualties inflicted by MOTAPM mainly occur in the post-conflict period. Therefore, to avoid accidental casualties inflicted by MOTAPM on civilians and humanitarian organizations and to relieve, to the greatest extent, the impediments caused by MOTAPM on economic and social development and humanitarian efforts, it is imperative to thoroughly clear MOTAPM as soon as possible in the post-conflict period. Until the complete clearance of the MOTAPM minefields, as a temporary measure, such minefields shall be immediately and effectively marked and fenced upon cessation of the conflict.
36. China holds the view that the biggest difficulty in post-conflict demining operations is the clearance of the MOTAPM minefields emplaced by a State on foreign territory, as in most cases that foreign State where the minefields are located has little knowledge about the function of the MOTAPM emplaced as well as the most effective method to clear them. Therefore, the emplacing State shall provide the documentation of the MOTAPM minefields to the State where the MOTAPM minefields are located and relevant international humanitarian organizations in time so as to avoid possible humanitarian consequences.
In 2005, in a white paper on “China’s Endeavours for Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation”, China stated:
China fully understands and sympathizes with other countries’ sufferings caused by landmines and has been actively engaged in international de-mining assistance and cooperation. Since 1998, China has participated in de-mining operations in about 10 countries in Asia and Africa through various forms of assistance, including financial donations, providing de-mining equipment and technical training. In 2004, China and the Australian Network of International Campaign to Ban Landmines co-sponsored a Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Cooperation Workshop in Kunming.
In 2005, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, China stated:
China fully understands and sympathizes with other countries’ sufferings caused by landmines and has been actively engaged in, through various forms, international de-mining assistance and cooperation in recent years. This September, China started a de-mining assistance program in Thailand. We sent a group of experts to provide technical training to the Thai de-miners. For this program, we also donated de-mining equipment and materials to the Thai side.
In 2006, in a white paper on “China’s National Defence in 2006”, China stated:
China continues to take an active part in international demining operations. In the period September–December 2005, Chinese military demining experts worked in Thailand to train demining personnel and give on-site instructions. China also provided Thailand with demining equipment. In the period September–December 2006, China ran demining training courses for Lebanon and Jordan in Nanjing, and provided the two countries with demining equipment.
In 2007, at a conference in Phnom Penh on “Mine Action and Implications for Peace and Development”, China stated:
We are glad that, with the joint efforts of the international community, encouraging progress in the field of mine action has been constantly achieved at national, regional and international levels. At the same time, it should not be neglected that there are still severe landmine problems in various countries and regions which still pose threats to the security of civilian lives and properties and hinder local economic development and social rehabilitation. It remains an important task for us to explore effective ways to promote relevant international assistance and cooperation and speed up the international mine action process.
Geographically speaking, current landmine problems mainly exist in the less developed countries and regions, which have suffered or are still suffering from wars or armed conflicts. Due to the lack of economic and technical capabilities in mine action, they are usually unable to carry out demining operations, victim assistance and post-war reconstruction on their own. Therefore, mine-affected countries and regions are in great need of international cooperation. Constantly enhancing and enriching international cooperation will be conducive to fast and comprehensive implementation of mine action, and is an effective way to resolve the landmine problems.
Bearing those in mind, we believe that the international community should focus its efforts of international mine action cooperation on the following aspects:
Firstly, new measures and approaches of international cooperation on mine action should be explored. At present, much cooperation in this field is carried out on bilateral basis. To improve quality and efficiency of the cooperation, new approaches should be adopted. For example, multiple parties can be invited to participate in one program, which will offset one party’s weakness with other parties’ strong points by giving full play to the respective advantages of participating parties in human resources, funding, equipment, technology and management and etc. This can also optimize the structure and enhance the efficiency of relevant programs. In this regard, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and other relevant international institutions should play more effective roles in coordination.
Secondly, mine action should be carried out in accordance with the specific situation of the recipient countries and regions. The situation and needs of mine-affected countries and regions are quite different. If we simply stick to one pattern or criteria in providing assistance and cooperation without taking into account the specific situation and needs of the recipients, the results of such assistance will be affected.
Thirdly, capacity building of mine-affected countries should be enhanced. Usually, it takes a long time and a large amount of financial and human resources for a country or a region to completely resolve landmine problems. One or two cooperation programs can not achieve this goal. We believe that, in carrying out relevant cooperation and assistance, donor countries should, from a long-term perspective, focus on building blood-making capability of recipient countries to help them accomplish the gradual transition from purely depending on external assistance to building up their own capacity, so as to achieve the sustainable development of mine action and fundamentally resolve the problems facing mine-affected countries and regions.
Fourthly, the efficiency of demining operations should be further enhanced. The progress and efficiency of demining operations have direct bearing on the return of local civilians and the process of economic reconstruction. While assuring the full and timely provision of relevant funding, the donor countries and the recipient countries should give priority to the concrete results of the demining assistance and cooperation. Both sides should strengthen coordination and enhance efficiency in utilizing the funding, equipment and personnel for demining operations, and make every effort to avoid waste and low efficiency.
… China maintains broad contacts and exchanges with States Parties to the Ottawa Convention and relevant international organizations such as International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). As a member of the Mine Action Support Group (MASG), China has actively participated in relevant activities of the Group and made valuable proposals on ways to enhance the coordination and cooperation of international mine action.
China attaches great importance to and has actively participated in the international cooperation in the field of mine action. China’s cooperation and assistance are mainly directed to those developing countries that suffer from severe landmine problems and lack relevant capabilities. Such cooperation and assistance focus on the capacity-building of the countries concerned, aiming at assisting those countries in achieving sustainable development of their own mine action.
The Chinese Government pursues a policy of “building good relationship and partnership with neighbours”. China fully understands the concerns and feelings of the mine-affected neighbouring countries, including Cambodia. China stands ready to enhance, within its own capability, the exchange and cooperation with other countries to actively explore effective approaches and measures to assist neighboring countries in getting rid of their landmine problems at an early date and to build a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious society.
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:
China actively deals with the landmine problem on its territory. Since 1990s, for the purpose of safeguarding the civilians’ lives and safety in the border areas and promoting local economic and social development, China has conducted three large-scale de-mining operations in the border areas, thus basically eliminated the landmine problem within its borders.
China understands and sympathizes with other countries’ suffering from landmines, and has been actively engaged in international de-mining assistance and cooperation. Since 1990s, the Chinese Government has provided de-mining assistance to more than 10 countries in Asia and Africa by various means, including financial donation, provision of de-mining equipments, dispatch of peace-keeping engineer troops and host of personnel training courses.
– In 1998, China donated 100,000 US dollars to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Mine Clearance Assistance, which was earmarked for mine actions in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
– In 1999 and 2000, the Chinese Government, in cooperation with the United Nations, organized two de-mining training courses for trainees from Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Angola, Namibia, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Mozambique.
– In 2001, China provided some de-mining equipment to Cambodia, Angola, Namibia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Mozambique.
– In 2002 and 2003, China sent two groups of de-mining experts to Eritrea to train and guide the Eritrean de-mining troops in their de-mining operations. Some de-mining equipment were donated to Eritrea.
– In September 2005, China carried out its de-mining assistance program in Thailand by donating de-mining equipment and sending an expert group to train local de-mining personnel and guide field de-mining operations.
– From September to December 2006, China hosted a de-mining training course for 40 trainees from Lebanon and Jordan, and donated a number of de-mining equipment to these two countries.
– According to the Beijing Action Plan adopted at the Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Forum in 2006, the Chinese Government pledged that it would continue to provide de-mining assistance within its capability to mine-affected African countries. From later this month, China will host a de-mining training course for the de-mining officers from five mine-affected African countries, namely Angola, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Chad. China will also donate some de-mining equipments to these countries.
– For many times, the Chinese peace-keeping engineer troops participated in de-mining operations in Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Lebanon. In 2007, the Chinese peace-keeping engineering troops to Lebanon received qualification certification from the UN Mine Action Service with their excellent performance. Up to now, the Chinese peace-keeping troops are still conducting operations of eliminating landmines and other unexploded munitions in Lebanon.
In 2007, during a debate on conventional weapons in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, China stated:
China is committed to promoting international de-mining cooperation and has provided assistance to relevant mine-affected countries within its capability. So far, the Chinese Government has provided de-mining assistance to more than 10 countries in Asia and Africa by various means, including financial donation, provision of de-mining equipments and personnel training course. This October, China will host a new de-mining training course in Nanjing for personnel from 5 African countries, namely Angola, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Chad. China will also donate a number of de-mining equipments to these countries.
In 2007, during a debate in the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly, China stated with regard to assistance in mine action:
China attaches great importance to international demining assistance. Since 1998, the Chinese Government has actively participated in the demining operations in more than 10 countries in Asia and Africa by providing financial donation and demining equipments, dispatching peace-keeping engineering troops and demining expert groups, as well as hosting demining training courses. The Chinese peace-keeping engineering troops in Lebanon have received demining certification from the UN with excellent performance. Today, the Chinese peace-keeping troops are still conducting landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance in Lebanon.
In the Beijing Action Plan adopted at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last year, the Chinese Government pledged that it would continue to support and participate in humanitarian demining process in Africa, and provide demining assistance within its capability to mine-affected African countries. From last month, China hosts a demining training course in Nanjing, China for demining personnel from 5 mine-affected African countries namely Angola, Burundi, Chad, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. China will also donate some demining equipments to these 5 countries.
In 2007, at the Eighth Meeting of the States Parties to the Ottawa Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines, China’s observer delegation stated:
After large-scale de-mining operations in border areas in 1990s, China has almost eliminated landmine threat within its territory, which paves the way for social and economic development in former mine-affected areas. In de-mining operations, the Chinese de-mining troops accumulated experience and developed a number of reliable, user-friendly, cost-effective de-mining equipments. China’s de-mining technology has also been improved.
After solving domestic landmine problems, China has actively engaged in international mine actions. Since 1998, China has provided de-mining assistance to more than ten countries in Asia and Africa by means of providing financial donations, hosting training courses, donating de-mining equipments and dispatching peace-keeping engineering troops or de-mining expert groups. China’s de-mining assistance has been highly appreciated by recipient countries. In 2006, China hosted a three-month humanitarian de-mining training program for forty trainees from Jordan and Lebanon, and donated some mine-detection and de-mining equipments to these two countries.
With a view to supporting humanitarian de-mining process in African countries, according to the Beijing Action Plan adopted at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China has launched a new round of de-mining assistance to African countries. Currently, China is hosting a humanitarian de-mining training course in Nanjing for five African countries, namely Angola, Burundi, Chad, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. China will also donate some de-mining equipments to these five countries.
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 [anti-personnel mines].