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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the High-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

2021-09-28 18:37

Mr President,

China supports building a world free of nuclear weapons, supports the Non-Aligned Movement in promoting the nuclear disarmament agenda, and supports the General Assembly in holding this meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

The mention of the total elimination of nuclear weapons reminds us that during the Cold War, the US and the USSR targeted each other with tens of thousands of nuclear warheads, hundreds of nuclear tests were conducted in the South Pacific by the relevant countries, and the world was on the verge of a nuclear war multiple times.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the Cold War. 30 years on, nuclear weapons still exist, the threat of nuclear warfare has yet to be eliminated, and the building of a world free of nuclear weapons is still an arduous task. All of this is ultimately attributable to the lingering shadow of the Cold War in the minds of some. The total elimination of nuclear weapons must begin with the total elimination of the Cold War mentality. With such a mentality, the world cannot achieve real nuclear disarmament and will not enjoy real peace and tranquility.

In recent years, some individual countries have been sticking to the Cold War mentality, seeking absolute military superiority, pursuing an offensive nuclear policy, shunning responsibility for nuclear disarmament, obsessed with forming closed and exclusive small circles and bending on provoking conflicts and confrontation. Just recently, a couple of countries blatantly announced cooperation in nuclear submarines, which will result in serious nuclear proliferation risks. Such practice heightens regional tensions, stimulates the arms race, undermines international efforts in nuclear non-proliferation, and runs counter to the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons as well as the aspiration of regional countries for peace and development.

A week ago, a country stated in this hall, that it does not seek a new Cold War, and has no intention of creating division. We hope that this public pronouncement made before the whole world will be shown in action. We hope that the relevant country will discard the outdated zero sum mentality of the Cold War era and narrow-minded geopolitical concepts and make concrete efforts to maintain global strategic balance and stability and uphold regional peace and security.

Mr President,

Since the very first day when it came into possession of nuclear weapons, China has been advocating the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China has declared 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 never seeks to compete with any country in the scale or quantity of nuclear weapons, nor will it engage in a nuclear arms race with any country. We never shirk our obligations for international disarmament and arms control and have always kept our nuclear force at the minimum level required for national security.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's lawful seat in the United Nations. Over these 50 years, China has taken part in an in-depth and comprehensive manner in the UN disarmament affairs and has contributed positively to safeguarding world peace and promoting international security. China will continue to practice true multilateralism, and work tirelessly with the international community to promote the nuclear disarmament process and achieve the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons at an early date.

I thank you, Mr President.

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