Li Song (C), Chinese ambassador for disarmament affairs, addresses a session of the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 22, 2019. Li Song said here on Wednesday that without sufficient mutual trust and respect for each other's security concerns, and without a commitment to common security, nuclear transparency could be "hypocritical and meaningless", or a tool for the strong to bully the weak. (Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)
GENEVA, May 22 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese diplomat said here on Wednesday that without sufficient mutual trust and respect for each other's security concerns, and without a commitment to common security, nuclear transparency could be "hypocritical and meaningless", or a tool for the strong to bully the weak.
Li Song, Chinese ambassador for disarmament affairs, told a session of the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament on Wednesday that transparency is not an end in and of itself but a way to enhance trust, avoid misjudgments and relieve tensions.
"Transparency is not a standalone concept, it has everything to do with the international security environment and national security policies," he said.
During its last plenary meeting under the presidency of the United States, the Conference on Disarmament discussed on Wednesday the issue of transparency in disarmament.
Responding to a senior U.S. official's recent accusation that "China's lack of transparency regarding the scope and scale of its nuclear modernization program raises questions regarding its future intent", Li said that this is a typical example of projecting one's own logic onto others.
"Let me make it crystal clear: the U.S. accusation has no basis in fact. It is using other countries as an excuse to evade the international responsibilities expected of it," he said.
"The U.S. keeps saying that other countries make it feel unsafe -- this is truly baffling," Li said. "If you choose to see some countries as rivals, you might most probably create the same number of enemies, even though it is not their intention to be your enemies."
Li also mentioned the U.S.'s intention to push for a trilateral (U.S., Russia and China) nuclear arms control agreement, saying that "the premise of and basis for the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations do not exist at all and China will definitely not participate in them."
In the current international security environment, Li said, it is particularly important for the five states with nuclear weapons to advocate coordination and win-win cooperation instead of major power competition and a zero-sum game.
He stressed that China is committed to peaceful development and pursues a nuclear strategy of self-defense. It unconditionally commits itself never to be the first to use nuclear weapons, and never to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states or nuclear weapon-free zones.
"We have no hidden strategic agenda and no country will be threatened by China's nuclear weapons," he told the conference.