China’s nuclear strategy will not change: Envoy

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China’s nuclear strategy and policy have been long-standing and consistent with a high level of stability, continuity and predictability, Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs Li Song said Tuesday.

This is unique among nuclear weapon states as they are the most responsible and transparent, Li said.

China has constantly advocated complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, Li told a thematic discussion on nuclear weapons of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly.

China has solemnly committed to no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally, he said.

China keeps its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security and does not engage in any nuclear arms race with any other country, he said.

Certain countries, out of ulterior motives, have recently made groundless speculations about and slanderous accusations against China’s nuclear policy and nuclear capabilities, he said. “Here, I would like to stress that China’s nuclear strategy, policy and related practices are open and transparent, serious and responsible. They will not change, nor be affected by those speculations and accusations.”

Noting that at present, the global strategic security environment continues to deteriorate and issues such as the role of nuclear weapons and the risk of nuclear war have once again raised international concern, Li said the United Nations needs an answer to where the nuclear disarmament process is headed, and China has the following proposals:

First, the international community should pursue true multilateralism and uphold the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, Li said.

Major countries, nuclear weapon states in particular, must abandon concepts of strategic competition, ideological tribalism and bloc confrontation, halt any pursuit of exclusive or absolute security, stop putting their own security above that of others, and refrain from seeking hegemony or bullying non-nuclear weapon states with nuclear weapons, he added.

Second, the United States and Russia, which have the largest nuclear arsenals, should continue to fulfill their special and primary responsibilities toward nuclear disarmament and make further significant and substantive reductions of their respective nuclear arsenals in a verifiable, irreversible and legally binding manner, to create the necessary conditions for comprehensive and complete nuclear disarmament, said Li.

Third, nuclear weapon states should effectively reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national security doctrines, commit to no first use of nuclear weapons, refrain from listing any country as a target for nuclear strike and be committed to not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally, he said.

China calls on the five nuclear weapon states to conclude a treaty on mutual no first use of nuclear weapons and calls on the Conference on Disarmament to negotiate and conclude an international legally binding instrument on negative security assurances, he said.

Fourth, “nuclear sharing” runs counter to the purpose and object of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and therefore should not be encouraged and must not proliferate, Li said.

Fifth, the historic joint statement, which was issued by the leaders of the five nuclear weapon states in January and affirmed that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” must be honored conscientiously, he said.

Sixth, the erroneous practices that undermine the international nuclear non-proliferation regime must be rejected, Li said.

Certain nuclear weapon states have placed geopolitical interests above the international nuclear non-proliferation principles, adopted selective application of rules and double standards, and engaged in nuclear-powered submarine cooperation with a non-nuclear weapon state, which is in contravention of the purpose and object of the NPT, he noted.

The international community should categorically oppose such acts of proliferation and join hands to create an international and regional environment conducive to advancing nuclear disarmament, he added.

China stands ready to join hands with other countries to implement its Global Security Initiative, firmly uphold the multilateral international order, and actively advance the international disarmament process to contribute to the building of a human community with a shared future, said the envoy. 

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