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H. E. Mr. Li Song, Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs, Elaborates China's Position on the US Withdrawal from the INF Treaty
2019/08/06

On August 6, 2019, H. E. Mr. Li Song, Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs, presented China's position and proposition on the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty at the Conference on Disarmament.

Li expressed that China deeply regrets and firmly opposes the US practice of insisting on withdrawing from the INF Treaty in disregard of international opposition. Since the US officially announced its withdrawal on August 2, senior officials of the US Defense Department have publicly stated that the US will seek to resume the development and deployment of the intermediate-range missiles. This fully demonstrates that the withdrawal from the INF Treaty is another negative move by the US to pursue unilateralism in disregard of its international commitments. Its real intention is to make the Treaty no longer binding on itself so that it can unilaterally seek military and strategic edge. If the US adopts the above irresponsible unilateral measures, it will severely undermine global strategic balance and stability, intensify tensions in international relations, undermine strategic mutual trust of major countries, disrupt international nuclear disarmament and arms control processes, and threaten peace and security in relevant regions. Like the vast majority of members of the international community, China is deeply concerned about the above-mentioned negative developments.

Li said that China noted that while withdrawing from the INF Treaty, the US declared that the US-Russian bilateral nuclear disarmament era has ended, and once again raised the issue of China's participation in multilateral nuclear arms control negotiations with the US and Russia. The US claim is a complete diversion from international attention. China has no intention to participate in such negotiations and will not be made part of it. He stressed that China's nuclear strategy for self-defense is completely transparent, its nuclear policy is highly responsible, its nuclear arsenal is extremely limited in scale, and never poses threats to international peace and security. China did not, does not and will not engage in any nuclear arms race with any country.

Li called on the international community to stay clear of the grave consequences of the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, and to prevent the US from shifting its own special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament under any pretext. He urged the US to exercise restraint, not to take actions that undermine the security interests of other countries, fulfill its due international responsibilities as a major power and earnestly safeguard the global and regional peace and security. He stressed that this is the common voice of the international community.

Li pointed out that China supports and encourages the US and Russia to maintain dialogue on strategic security and bilateral nuclear disarmament issues and make their necessary efforts to extend the New START. The differences between the US and Russia on the implementation of the nuclear disarmament treaties should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation. It is neither right nor possible to address them by withdrawing from or breaching the treaties. As the powers possessing the largest nuclear arsenals, the US and Russia are obliged to continue substantially reducing their nuclear arsenals in a verifiable, irreversible and legally binding manner. It is the important guarantee for maintaining global strategic stability, international peace and security, and the international arms control and non-proliferation regime, which will also create the necessary conditions for advancing the multilateral nuclear disarmament process.

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