|Statement by H.E. Mr. LI Song, Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs of China, at the Thematic Discussion on Nuclear Disarmament at the First Committee of the 74th Session of the UNGA
I strongly oppose and firmly reject the baseless acquisitions made by the U.S. Ambassador against China this morning. I will exercise my right of reply in response to these acquisitions later. Currently, the global strategic environment is undergoing profound and complicated changes. The international process of nuclear disarmament has been severely eroded. The culprit is the United States. The U.S. returns to the Cold-War mentality, adopts a more aggressive nuclear strategy, sabotages international nuclear arms control architecture, lowers the threshold of using nuclear weapons, which has increased the risk of a nuclear war, and brought damages to global strategic balance and stability.
Despite such negative developments, China is convinced that the international community should work together to build a community of shared future for humankind, take concrete actions to improve international security environment, promote nuclear disarmament process, and reduce the risk of a nuclear war.
First, to uphold a concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security. Countries should reject Cold-War mentality and zero-sum game, fully respect the legitimate and reasonable security concerns of each other, and do away with the root cause of the possession and proliferation of nuclear weapons. China has been actively promoting exchanges among Nuclear-weapons States on their policies and doctrines, so as to take an objective view on the strategic intention of each other, and enhance strategic mutual trust.
Second, to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in national security doctrines. Nuclear-weapon States should reaffirm that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”, adopt together with China the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons, and unconditionally commit to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. In the meanwhile, Nuclear-weapon States should refrain from such actions as expanding nuclear deterrence or tailoring nuclear strike plans against each other.
Third, to adhere to a step-by-step approach of nuclear disarmament, and it should be a fair, reasonable, and gradual reduction towards a downward balance. I would like to point out that the U.S. as the country possessing the largest nuclear arsenals should, in accordance with the provisions of the relevant UN documents including GA resolutions, fulfill in the earnest its special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament, keep and renew the U.S.-Russia bilateral nuclear disarmament treaties and take further steps to drastic and substantive cuts of their nuclear arsenals. This would create necessary conditions for multilateral process of nuclear disarmament.
Fourth, to commit to maintaining the strategic balance and stability and guarantee undiminished security for all. This is the fundamental principle for nuclear disarmament. Deploying the global missile defense system, and seeking supremacy in outer space will undermine the effectiveness of the nuclear deterrence of other countries, bring damages to strategic balance and stability, and endanger nuclear disarmament efforts. We urge the U.S. to give up such actions.
China stands for complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. The nuclear policy and strategy of China are clear, consistent and highly responsible, and have maintained a maximum degree of transparency. The recently issued white paper named “China’s National Defense in the New Era” has reiterated its nuclear policy and strategy.
China remains committed to the path of peaceful development, and sticks to a self-defensive nuclear strategy. China promises that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance, and unconditionally committed itself not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China is the only Nuclear-weapon State which makes this promise and sticks to it all along. China has never deployed any nuclear weapons abroad, never participated in nuclear arms race of any kind, nor will China participate in the future. China’s nuclear force is always kept at the minimal level required by national security. China has never threatened any country with this limited nuclear force that is defensive in nature. China will continue to actively promote and participate in the international arms control and nonproliferation process. These policies themselves are major contributions to international peace and security.
China has attached great importance to and taken an active part in the preparation of the Tenth Review Conference of the NPT, and committed to enhancing the authority, universality and effectiveness of the NPT. We believe that in this Conference, we should take stock of NPT’s accomplishments in the last half century and look ahead to its development in the 50 years of the future. We will work with all member states to make fresh contributions to world peace and sustainable development. China has submitted its National Report on the Implementation of the NPT to the Third Session of the PrepCom for the 2020 NPT RevCon, and China is going to submit the updated Report to the RevCon next year. China has actively enhanced the joint efforts by the P5 to safeguard the NPT regime during its turn as the coordinator of the P5 process. In January this year, the P5 held the Beijing P5 conference, agreeing on putting the item of nuclear policies and doctrines on its permanent agenda, and reached common consensus on enhancing the NPT regime.
China stands for the purposes and objectives of the CTBT, has always honored its moratorium on nuclear-test-ban, and is committed to pushing the early entry-into-force of the CTBT. This year, several monitoring stations in China have finished the PCA Contracts with the PTS and started real-time data transmission, which constitute great contributions to the preparation for future implementation of the treaty.
China has always taken a positive attitude towards the Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT). We believe that the Conference on Disarmament (CD) is the sole and most appropriate forum for the negotiation of such a treaty. China supports the commencement of the negotiation on FMCT at the CD on the basis of a comprehensive and balanced program of work according to the mandate contained in the Shannon Report. China supports the CD in establishing the subsidiary body to continue relevant technical discussions.
Finally, I would like to reiterate that China is ready to work together with the international community to make unremitting efforts for achieving the ultimate goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.