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Ambassador Zhang Jun Stated China's Position on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty at Security Council

2019/08/22

On 22 August 2019, the UN Security Council held an open session on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, attended the meeting and stated China’s position. The meeting was convened at the request of Russia with the support of China.

Ambassador Zhang said that the INF treaty signed between the United States and the USSR in 1987 is an important treaty on arms control and disarmament. The unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the treaty led to the demise of the treaty, which will have a far-reaching negative impact on global strategic balance and stability, regional security in Europe and Asia as well as international arms control regime. The international community should be clear headed about this impact. With regard to the INF treaty, China has made clear its position on many occasions. It is unacceptable to use China as an excuse for leaving the treaty, and China rejects the baseless accusation by the United States.

Ambassador Zhang said that prior to its official withdrawal from the INF treaty, the United States already announced its plan to accelerate the development and deployment of intermediate range missiles. Lately, it conducted a test launch of land-based cruise missile. China strongly urges the relevant country to take a highly responsible attitude, exercise restraint and earnestly preserve the existing arms control regime in an effort to safeguard global strategic balance and stability and international and regional peace and security. This is the shared message from the international community.

Ambassador Zhang said that multilateralism is the effective means to address common challenges. All countries should resolutely safeguard the international order with international law and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter at its core, embrace a concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, fully respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries, work hard for a peaceful and stable international security environment and promote a community of a shared future for mankind.

Ambassador Zhang said that China unswervingly pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. China’s nuclear strategy for self-defense is completely transparent and its nuclear policy is highly responsible. China’s nuclear arsenal is extremely limited in scale, and poses no threat to international peace and security. For decades, China has actively participated in arms control consultations and negotiations under multilateral mechanisms and frameworks including those of the United Nations and Conference on Disarmament. China opposes arms race and works to safeguard global strategic balance and stability. Moving forward, China will continue to firmly uphold multilateralism, and actively participate in multilateral arms control processes to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.

In response to the US unwarranted criticism of China’s development of intermediate range missiles, Ambassador Zhang emphasized that the US withdrawal from INF is yet another act of unilateralism and escape from international obligations by the United States. It is aimed at relieving restrictions and seeking absolute military advantage. China pursues a national defense policy that is defensive nature. China’s land-based intermediate range missiles are all deployed within the Chinese territory. It is for defense purposes and poses no threat to any country. China firmly opposes US deployment of intermediate range missiles in the Asia-Pacific and urges the United States to be cool-headed and exercise restraint.

Regarding the US claim that China should join the United States and Russia in arms control negotiation, Ambassador Zhang stressed that for any arms control negotiation, it is imperative to fully consider the overall military capabilities of countries and follow the principle of “undiminished security for all”, a basic principle of international arms control. China has repeatedly stated its position on the so-called arms control negotiation with the United States and Russia. China has no interest and will not be part of it.

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