Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the General Assembly High-level Plenary Meeting to Commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
2 October 2020
Nuclear weapons, “the sword of Damocles”, poses a serious security threat to all countries. The complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and the ultimate realization of a nuclear-weapons-free world is in the common interest of mankind. China supports the GA resolutions on nuclear disarmament proposed by NAM, supports the establishment of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, and supports a nuclear-weapons-free world.
Ever since the first day of possessing nuclear weapons, China has been advocating the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China has declared the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and unconditionally commits itself not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against Non-Nuclear-Weapon States or Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones. China calls upon other Nuclear-Weapon States to make similar commitments and conclude a legally-binding instrument in this area.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN. During the just-concluded GA general debate, member states called for commitment to multilateralism and a joint response to global challenges. The international community should take this opportunity as well as the Review Conference on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of entry into force of the NPT to push forward the nuclear disarmament process in a reasonable, pragmatic and step-by-step manner for the ultimate realization of a nuclear-weapons-free world.
The nuclear disarmament process has a bearing on international peace and security, the peace and well-being of member states, and global strategic balance and stability. Currently, the biggest threat and challenge to this process are the Cold War mentality, unilateralism, and bullying practices.
For the past years, the US has been advocating American exceptionalism and America First, pushing for modernization of its nuclear arsenal, lowering the threshold of using nuclear weapons, and seeking to free its hands in the nuclear field. The US has unilaterally withdrawn from the INF Treaty, responded negatively to the proposal for extending the New START, and tried to evade its special responsibility in nuclear disarmament by trumpeting the so-called “trilateral talks”. The US is imposing unilateral sanctions and exerting maximum pressure on the Iranian and Korean Peninsular nuclear issues to advance its own geo-political agenda. Such US behaviors run counter to the goal of a nuclear-weapons-free world and the common interests of the international community.
Thirty-six year ago, US President Ronald Reagan said, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” We hope his words will never be forgotten. China is ready to work with the international community to advance the nuclear disarmament process against all disruptions and difficulties, and work for the ultimate realization of a nuclear-weapons-free world.
Thank you, Mr. President.