China calls on all nuclear weapon states to effectively reduce risk of nuclear war

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A Chinese envoy said on Friday that China calls on all nuclear weapon states to effectively reduce the risk of a nuclear war.

"Mutual trust and cooperation among major countries are the fundamental guarantee for maintaining global strategic stability," Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council briefing on threats to international peace and security.

Geng said that in January last year, the leaders of the five nuclear weapon states issued a joint statement emphasizing that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and reaffirming that none of the nuclear weapons are targeted at each other or at any other state. "Against the backdrop of the current tense relations among the nuclear weapon states, the special significance of this historic statement is all the more prominent."

"China calls on all nuclear weapon states to abide by the vision of the statement, effectively reduce the risk of a nuclear war, and avoid any armed conflict between nuclear weapons states," said the ambassador.

Geng pointed out that nuclear weapons are "the sword of Damocles hanging over our heads," noting that China's position on the issue of nuclear weapons "has been clear and consistent."

"Since its first day in possession of nuclear weapons, China has firmly committed to a defensive nuclear strategy, and honored the pledge to no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances," he said. "China has also clearly committed unconditionally not to use or threat to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states or nuclear weapon free zones."

"China is the only nuclear weapon state to have made these pledges. China attaches great importance to the status of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as the cornerstone of international nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, firmly upholds the authority, effectiveness, and the universal nature of the Treaty, and advocates a step-by-step approach to advance nuclear disarmament process for the eventual complete ban and total elimination of nuclear weapons," the envoy spelled out.

"We call for the abolition of the nuclear sharing arrangements and advocate no deployment of nuclear weapons abroad by all nuclear weapons states and the withdrawal of nuclear weapons deployed aboard," he said.

Turning to China's position on the Ukraine issue, Geng said that this position "is also clear and consistent."

"Not long ago, China issued a position paper on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, which comprehensively laid out China's propositions," he said.

"It includes aspects regarding opposing armed attacks against nuclear power plants or other peaceful nuclear facilities, emphasizing that nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought, that the threat or use of nuclear weapons should be opposed, and that nuclear proliferation must be prevented and nuclear crisis avoided," the envoy added.

Geng noted that a series of recent events have once again proved that the resumption of dialogue and negotiation and the promotion of a political settlement should happen sooner rather than later.

"All parties must stay rational and exercise restraint, avoid aggravating tensions, intensifying frictions, or fanning the flames, stop all actions that contribute to prolonging the war, and prevent the crisis from deteriorating further or even spiraling out of control," he said.

The envoy called on the international community to "have a heightened sense of urgency to promote talks for peace and create conditions for the early resumption of negotiations."

"China will continue to play a constructive role in seeking ceasefire, easing the crisis, and restoring peace," he continued. 

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