18 February 1992
Some information on discovered chemical weapons abandoned in China by a foreign state
One of the most urgent tasks in the negotiations on chemical weapons is to resolve, in a just and thorough way, the issue of chemical weapons abandoned on the territory of one State by another State. In response to requests and proposals by some delegations, the Chinese delegation is now authorized to provide the relevant information in the sections below with a view to promoting mutual understanding and facilitating the work of the Conference and its Ad Hoc Committee on Chemical Weapons.
As is known to all, the Chinese people have in the past been victims of the use of chemical weapons by a foreign State. Even today, the chemical weapons abandoned by that foreign State still cause havoc and constitute a grave threat.
After nearly half a century, such weapons continue to be discovered in China. They have done great harm to the safety of the Chinese people and their properties and ecology. As the foreign State concerned has provided no information on the chemical weapons it abandoned in China, it is impossible to take the necessary precautionary measures when such weapons are discovered, and many injuries have occurred as a result.
Preliminary statistics reveal that direct victims alone have numbered more than 2,000. Furthermore, the danger posed by such abandoned chemical weapons to the natural environment and to the safety of human beings is increasing. For example, the lives of more than 2,000 students and teachers of Gaocheng High School (Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province) are now threatened by such abandoned chemical weapons discovered on their campus. The normal teaching activities in that school have since been seriously disturbed. In another instance, large amounts of chemical weapons were discovered in the Dunhua region of Jilin Province. They are situated near the upper reaches of the Haerbaling Reservoir. Most of the weapons, manufactured years ago, are now in a badly rusted and eroded state. Any significant leakage will undoubtedly endanger the lives of the local population and have disastrous consequences for their property and the environment. Such instances have been a source of bitter grievance and serious concern for the Chinese people.
I. Quantities of chemical munitions and agents abandoned in China by a foreign State
1. Quantities of chemical munitions
(1) Discovered but not yet destroyed: approximately 2 million pieces (as most of the munitions are still buried, the exact figure has yet to be verified after excavation).
(2) Destroyed or given preliminary treatment by China: more than 300,000 pieces.
2. Quantities of toxic chemical agents
(1) Discovered but not yet completely destroyed: approximately 100 tons.
(2) Destroyed by China: more than 20 tons
II. Types of discovered chemical munitions and toxic agents abandoned in China by a foreign State
1. Types of chemical munitions
(1) 150 mm chemical shells: shells containing a mustard gas-Lewisite mixture and shells containing diphenylcyanoarsine.
(2) 105 mm chemical shells: shells containing a mustard gas-Lewisite mixture and shells containing diphenylcyanoarsine.
(3) 90 mm chemical mortar shells: mortar shells containing a mustard gas-Lewisite mixture and mortar shells containing diphenylcyanoarsine.
(4) 75 mm phosgene shells: phosgene shells and diphenylcyanoarsine shells.
(5) chemical aerial bombs, 81 mm chemical mortar shells, and chemical munitions of other calibres as well as toxic smoke candles and canisters
2. Types of toxic agents
Main types of toxic agents include: mustard gas, mustard gas-Lewisite mixture, diphenylcyanoarsine, hydrocyanic acid, phosgene, phenyl cyanoethyl ketone.
III. Geographical distribution of the discovered chemical munitions and agents abandoned China by a foreign state
l. Locations where chemical munitions and agents have been destroyed or given preliminary treatment by China
(1) Fujin County in Heilongjiang Province: more than 100,000 chemical shells 150, 105, 75, 90 mm).
(2) Shangzhi City in Heilongjiang Province: more than 200,000 chemical shells (150, 105, 75, 90 mm) and more than 1,100 kilograms of toxic agents.
(3) Mudanjiang City in Heilongjiang Province: 4 barrels of mustard gas-Lewisite toxic agents (more than 400 kg) destroyed in 1982 by a chemical process. Others are still buried and have yet to be excavated.
(4) Acheng City in Heilongjiang Province: more than 300 chemical shells and 10 tons of toxic agents.
(5) Changchun City in Jilin Province as well as Shenyang City, Fengcheng County and other places in Liaoning Province: 10.8 tons of various toxic agents destroyed during 1973-1986.
(6) Cities of Taiyuan and Datong in Shanxi Province, Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province, and Bengbu in Anhui Province: more than 10,000 chemical shells (150, 105, 75 mm) completely destroyed by 1988.
2. Locations where the relevant information is available but the chemical munitions have yet to be destroyed
(1) Sunwu County in Heilongjiang Province: 513 chemical shells (150, 105 mm), 4 boxes of toxic smoke canisters, 2 barrels of toxic agents.
(2) Bayan County in Heilongjiang Province: more than 100 chemical shells.
(3) Town of Weijin in the Meihekou region of Jilin Province: 74 tons of mustard gas-Lewisite toxic agents, solidified with lime
(4) Suburbs of Jilin City in Jilin Province: more than 40 chemical shells (75 mm).
(5) Gaocheng City in Hebei Province: 50 phosgene shells (75 mm).
(6) Hangzhou City in Zhejiang Province: 33 chemical shells (75 mm), types unknown). Others are still buried and have yet to be executed.
(7) Nanjing City in Jiangsu Province: 4 barrels of mustard gas (originally there were 6 barrels but two of them began leaking and were therefore destroyed in 1990 by a chemical process).
(8) Suburbs of Hohhot City in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region: 3 barrels of mustard gas.
3. Locations where exact quantities of the buried chemical munitions have yet to be verified
(1) Dunhua region of Jilin Province
Local historical documents as well as statements of those who helped to bury or transport munitions reveal that there are more than 1.8 million pieces of chemical munitions in the area. They are mainly chemical shells of 75, 105 and 150 mm and chemical mortar shells of 90 mm, as well as small quantities of chemical aerial bombs and other types of chemical munitions.
(2) Meihekou region of Jilin Province
Chemical munitions abandoned by a foreign State were buried under the railroad tracks near the railway station. They are mainly chemical shells of 75, 105 and 150 mm.
4. Locations where chemical munitions may have been buried, as revealed by preliminary investigations
Harbin, Acheng, and Qiqihaer regions of Heilongjiang Province;
Huichun and Changchun regions as well as Quilogou and Malugou in Dunhua region of Jilin Province.