Calls US and Russia to reduce their nuclear weapons
Beijing: China is opposed to US plans to deploy missiles and defensive systems in neighbouring countries that could undermine strategic stability and has called for advancing international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes.
Addressing the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva via video link on Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed jointly maintaining global strategic stability, abiding by international arms control treaties, addressing the non-proliferation issue via negotiations and improving global security governance in new frontiers.
“China opposes the development and deployment of regional and global missile defence systems by a certain country that undermine strategic stability, and China opposes the deployment of land-based intermediate-range ballistic missiles in the neighbourhood of other countries,” Wang said.
Though Wang has not named the US, China in the past has threatened to take countermeasures if the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Asia opposed Washington’s move to deploy the high tech Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) in South Korea over concerns that the American system will monitor China’s missile movements.
In the text of his address posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website, Wang said the five permanent members of the UN Security Council should reaffirm the important formula that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, strengthen cooperation in strategic risk reduction and deepen strategic dialogue on a broader range of strategic security issues to enhance strategic trust.
He said China is committed to a policy of not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally.
Without disclosing the numbers of China’s arsenal of nuclear weapons, he called on the US and Russia to reduce their nuclear weapons.
“China always keeps its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security, and does not compete with any other country in the size or scale of nuclear force,” he said.
China so far has not disclosed how many warheads it has, but an assessment by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute put the number at 320, in comparison to Russia’s 54,000 or the 70,000 US warheads, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
China is also resisting US efforts to include it in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Moscow and Washington.