On May 22, 2019, H. E. Mr. Li Song, Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Disarmament Affairs, addressed the Conference on Disarmament and criticized the US proposition of "Nuclear Transparency".
Li expressed that substantial changes are brewing in the international security environment today, and unilateral and bullying practices are the new forms of hegemony. The Cold War mentality comes back to drive the security strategy and policy of a certain major power. This country pursues its strategic dominance and security interests at the cost of integrity and international rules and makes a habit of sabotaging and tearing up deals. It expands its own strategic offensive and defensive capability, adding to tensions, stoking arms race, and eroding strategic stability.
Li said that the international security environment is characterized by a pervasive sense of insecurity. In particular, the US keeps saying other countries make it feel unsafe. This is truly baffling. I do hope American policymakers and those with vision and influence on this matter can look at their national security environment in a different light. 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. National security policy informed by such a mindset is itself a potential threat to international peace and security.
Li stressed that the United States has been criticizing China's legitimate and justified national defense development and saying it wants to push for a trilateral nuclear arms-control agreement among the US, Russia and China. A senior US official publicly stated that "China's lack of transparency regarding the scope and scale of its nuclear modernization program raises questions regarding its future intent." This is a typical example of projecting one's own logic on others. China is not the United States, it will never turn itself into the United States, and its nuclear strategy and policy are fundamentally different from those of the United States. The US accusation has no basis in fact. It is using other countries as an excuse to evade the international responsibilities expected of it. The premise and basis for the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations do not exist at all and China will definitely not participate in them.
With regard to the issue of "Nuclear Transparency", Li pointed out that a necessary precondition for transparency is that countries have sufficient mutual trust, respect each other's security concerns, and commit to common security. Without this or ignoring this, transparency will be hypocritical and meaningless, a tool for the strong to bully the weak. Li stressed that China's nuclear strategy and policy are the most transparent among all nuclear-weapon States. China is committed to peaceful development and pursues a nuclear strategy of self-defense. China has no hidden strategic agenda and no country will be threatened by China's nuclear weapons. In the current international security environment, it is particularly important for the P5 to advocate coordination and win-win cooperation instead of major power competition and a zero-sum game. This is conducive to world peace and stability.