From China’s new white paper regarding nuclear weapons:
China has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China maintains that countries possessing the largest nuclear arsenals bear special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament. They should further drastically reduce their nuclear arsenals in a verifiable, irreversible and legally-binding manner, so as to create the necessary conditions for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. When conditions are appropriate, other nuclear-weapon states should also join in multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
What China means: Russia and especially the U.S. should de-arm. Then, when they’re done, we will follow as soon as the rest of the world is de-armed. Really. We promise. In the meantime, we get credit for calling for nuclear disarmament.
From the white paper as it pertains to space:
The Chinese government has advocated from the outset the peaceful use of outer space, and opposes any weaponization of outer space and any arms race in outer space. China believes that the best way for the international community to prevent any weaponization of or arms race in outer space is to negotiate and conclude a relevant international legally-binding instrument.
In February 2008, China and Russia jointly submitted to the Conference on Disarmament (CD) a draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT). In August 2009, China and Russia jointly submitted their working paper responding to the questions and comments raised by the CD members on the draft treaty. China is looking forward to starting negotiations on the draft treaty at the earliest possible date, in order to conclude a new outer space treaty.
What China means: along with Russia, we want to keep the U.S., who actually self-limits, from ever developing space-based missile defense. In the mean time, we will use our ground-based kinetic ASATs and (especially) electronic space warfare to hold other space-delivered products at risk as required. We want the bonus points we’re due in calling to ban ‘space weapons’ and avoiding an ‘arms race’ in space even though we don’t even have a clue as to what either phrase really means. And that cute Western expression “legally binding”? Have you seen what we’ve done with intellectual property?