Cold War mentality remains biggest threat to world peace, stability: Chinese envoy

Chen Zhuo
2022-10-11 15:18:42

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Cold War has been over for more than 30 years, but the Cold War mentality remains the biggest threat to peace and stability of the world, Li Song, the Chinese ambassador for disarmament affairs, said on Monday.

At the moment, the global security structure, as well as international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms, are facing the severest challenge since the end of the Cold War, Li said in a statement at the general debate of the First Committee of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Certain countries, driven by the Cold War mentality, have continuously instigated competition and confrontation among major countries, strengthened their military blocs, and deliberately provoked and aggravated disagreements, he said.

"Such policies have been seriously undermining mutual trusts among major countries, endangering global strategic balance and stability, and impeding the international arms control and disarmament process," Li said.

Elaborating China's positions and proposals, the envoy said major countries, nuclear-weapon states in particular, must abandon concepts of strategic competition and bloc confrontation, halt any pursuit of exclusive or absolute security, and stop putting their own security above that of others.

In January this year, leaders of the five nuclear-weapon states issued a joint statement, stressing that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and reaffirming that none of their nuclear weapons are targeted at each other or at any other state.

This historic statement is of great and far-reaching significance to preventing nuclear war and avoiding arms races, Li said, adding that the five nuclear-weapon states should further strengthen communication and collaboration and jointly uphold global strategic balance and stability.

"It is our hope that all nuclear-weapon states could respond positively to the repeated call from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and China to adopt the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons," he said.

The two countries possessing the largest nuclear arsenals should earnestly fulfill their special and primary responsibilities toward nuclear disarmament, and make significant and substantive reductions in their nuclear arsenals in a verifiable, irreversible and legally-binding manner, so as to create conditions for multilateral nuclear disarmament, he said.

Li stressed that the United States should stop the development or deployment of regional or global missile defense systems, refrain from deploying land-based intermediate range missiles in Asia-Pacific and Europe, and must not duplicate the nuclear sharing arrangements in the Asia-Pacific region.

The trilateral cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines among the United States, Britain and Australia (AUKUS) runs counter to the objective and purpose of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), deals a serious blow to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system, poses severe risks of nuclear proliferation, and undermines regional peace and stability, the ambassador pointed out.

"China expresses deep concerns with and strong opposition to such cooperation. China calls on all members of the international community, especially the IAEA member states to pay high attention to this issue, conduct thorough discussions and handle the issue with prudence, so as to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime," he said.

China has played an active part in and worked to advance the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process. China stands ready to join hands with other countries in implementing the Global Security Initiative, firmly uphold multilateral international order, actively advance the international disarmament process, so as to contribute to the building of a community of shared future for mankind, Li said.

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