Fu Cong (C), head of the Department of Arms Control of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, addresses the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), at the UN headquarters in New York, April 29, 2019. UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu warned on Monday that restraints on nuclear arsenals are weakening. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, April 29 (Xinhua) -- China firmly opposes nuclear proliferation in whatever forms and participates in the political resolution of regional nuclear proliferation issues in a responsible manner, a Chinese envoy said on Monday.
For decades China has shown maximum transparency with respect to its nuclear strategy, exercised great restraint in developing its nuclear force and taken extreme caution in its policy related to the use of nuclear weapons, Fu Cong, head of the Department of Arms Control of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
China has consistently adhered to a nuclear strategy of self-defense; it has strictly honored its commitment not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States and nuclear-weapon-free zones; it has kept its nuclear force at the minimal level required by national security, he said.
As for the regional nuclear proliferation issues, the envoy said that China strives to maintain the momentum for dialogue and detente in the Korean Peninsula, and firmly supports the establishment of a Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) in the Middle East and of the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, Fu said.
The world today is undergoing major development, changes and adjustments, he said, adding that the call for peace and cooperation rather than war and confrontation has become the common voice of the international community.
Improving the universality, authority and effectiveness of the NPT remains the major trend of the times, Fu said.
In order to further strengthen the NPT's role in preserving international peace and security, and to empower the NPT with a greater meaning of serving global development in the new era, the Chinese envoy proposed five suggestions.
The first suggestion is to continue to improve the international security situation. The international community should uphold the concept of building a community of shared future for mankind, discard the Cold War mentality and zero-sum game doctrine, and seek peace and security through cooperation.
Secondly, the Chinese envoy called on the international community to stick to the line of pragmatic and effective nuclear disarmament. "The complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons is in the interest of all humanity."
The countries possessing the largest nuclear arsenals should, in accordance with the consensus of the international community and provisions of the relevant UN documents including the General Assembly's resolutions, fulfill in earnest their special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament, keep and renew their bilateral nuclear disarmament treaties and take further steps to make drastic and substantive cuts of their nuclear weapons, he added.
The third and fourth suggestions are to keep the direction of consolidating political and diplomatic solutions to nuclear non-proliferation issues, and tap the enormous potential of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The peaceful uses of nuclear energy, as an inalienable right empowered by the NPT, represent an important means for the international community to meet in unison the challenge of climate change, increase the driving force for global economic development, and achieve green development and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, Fu noted.
"At the same time, such cooperation should not be politicized. Much less should it be used as a tool for major power competition," he added.
Fifthly, the envoy called for faithfully safeguarding the NPT mechanism. "It is imperative to increase dialogue and urge the countries concerned to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states without preconditions and further delay," he said.
Since 1995, NPT review conferences have produced decisions, action plans, practical steps and measures to improve the effectiveness of the review process itself.
The NPT, signed in 1968 and effective since 1970, is the only treaty that contains legally-binding commitments to pursuing nuclear disarmament. A total of 191 states have joined the treaty.