Arms control and disarmament systems are at a crossroads

Li Jiayao
2021-10-06 17:24:23

On October 5, local time, the 76th UN General Assembly Disarmament and International Security Committee held a general debate. Geng Shuang, head of the Chinese delegation, made a speech.

In his speech, Geng Shuang said that the current century of change is intertwined with the epidemic of the century, the international security situation is profoundly evolving, the global strategic balance and stability are facing challenges, the multilateral arms control and disarmament system is at a crossroads, and the international community is facing an important choice as to where to go.

Geng Shuang pointed out that international arms control and disarmament are related to world peace and stability. The painful experience of World War II gave birth to a multilateral arms control and disarmament system with the United Nations at its core. For more than 70 years, this system has made positive contributions to eliminating the threat of strategic weapons, promoting global strategic stability, and maintaining international peace and security. Currently, the international community faces four major choices around this system: First, is it to regain the Cold War mentality and create split and confrontation, or to promote multilateralism and maintain strategic stability? Second, is it to pursue pragmatism, undermine multilateral rules, or fulfill responsibilities and obligations, and advance the disarmament agenda? Third, is it to implement a geostrategy to suppress dissident countries, or to insist on objective and fairness and seek a political solution? Fourth, is it to abuse one's own advantages to seek technological monopoly, or to encourage openness and tolerance, and jointly formulate rules?

Geng Shuang emphasized that how the international community examines the above four major issues and what choices it makes are related to the future of the multilateral arms control and disarmament system, the trend of the international strategic security pattern, and the prospect of global strategic stability. The international community should proceed from the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind and make wise choices in a responsible manner.

In his speech, Geng Shuang addressed the nuclear arsenal of the United States, promoted the construction of the global anti-missile system, deployed land-based medium missiles in Asia-Pacific and Europe, developed nuclear submarine cooperation with the United Kingdom and Australia, postponed the destruction of chemical weapons, exclusively opposed the negotiation of the biological weapons verification protocol, and long-term boycott of foreign countries. The air force’s control process, the use of emerging technologies to seek military superiority, and the use of regional non-proliferation issues such as the Iranian nuclear, North Korean nuclear, and Syrian chemical weapons to implement geostrategic actions have been criticized. Geng Shuang also urged Japan to revoke its erroneous decision to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the sea and properly address the concerns of the international community in an open, transparent and responsible manner.

The UN General Assembly’s Disarmament and International Security Committee ("UN General Assembly First Committee") is responsible for handling international security affairs such as arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. During the meeting, countries hold general debates and discuss nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional weapons. , Internet, outer space and other topics.

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