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Director-General of the Department of Arms Control of the Foreign Ministry Fu Cong Interviewed by the Russian Newspaper Kommersant

2020/10/15

On October 15, 2020, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control of the Foreign Ministry Fu Cong set forth the principled stance of China on the country's nuclear policy and nuclear power development, as well as the so-called China-U.S.-Russia trilateral arms control negotiations in an interview with Yelena Chernenko, a journalist with the Russian newspaper Kommersant.

Fu emphasized, China pledges no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances and has always kept its nuclear arsenal at the lowest level necessary for self-defense only, a policy China will never waver. China is not interested in becoming a nuclear superpower and will not repeat the Soviet-American road of crazily engaging in a nuclear arms race during the Cold War. China has never participated and will never participate in a nuclear arms race.

Fu rebutted the wild allegations of the U.S. against China's nuclear power building and asserted that China's self-defensive nuclear deterrence strategy is a strategic choice based on the national security needs and the nature of nuclear weapons as the ultimate deterrence. The speculations of the outside on the quantity of China's nuclear weapons are groundless. He hoped the international community could take an unbiased view on China's effort to strengthen strategic capacity building out of nuclear arsenal security and reliability concerns in the new situation. In fact, other nuclear powers are also modernizing their nuclear arsenals, and the U.S. even plans to inject 1.2 trillion dollars to upgrade its huge nuclear arsenal.

Fu said, nuclear transparency involves two aspects: the transparency of policy and intention and the transparency of capacity and quantity. However, transparent capacity and quantity information will not necessarily lead to mutual trust. A country with about 6,000 nuclear warheads which insists on first use is not making its nuclear information transparent but expanding the scope of nuclear deterrence. This will absolutely not assure other countries. From the angles of enhancement of mutual trust and avoidance of miscalculation, the transparency of nuclear power and intention is of more practical significance. China's nuclear policy of no-first-use and not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states is the transparency in the most meaningful sense. Currently, the U.S. is continuously upgrading its huge nuclear arsenal, pursuing an offensive nuclear strategy, expanding the use of nuclear weapons, lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, developing new "usable" nuclear warheads, vigorously developing missile defense and space-based weapon systems, and threatening to deploy intermediate-range, ground-based missiles around China. All of these have severely damaged global strategic stability and impacted the survivability of China's nuclear power. Against this background, China has to blur the size of its nuclear power appropriately to ensure the effectiveness of its nuclear deterrence.

Fu pointed out, the U.S. is finding an excuse for freeing itself from the restrictions of international treaties and seeking absolute strategic advantage by continuously scrapping treaties, withdrawing from international organizations and proposing the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations. China's nuclear power is not on the same order of magnitude as that of the U.S. and Russia. Pressuring China to join such negotiations is unfair, unreasonable and unfeasible, and China will not participate in the negotiations. China would be ready to participate in the international talks on nuclear disarmament if the U.S. agrees to reduce its nuclear arsenal to China's level, which is not going to happen in foreseeable future.

Fu said, China's non-participation in the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations does not mean the country shields from its nuclear disarmament responsibility and is absent in the global efforts on nuclear disarmament. Actually, China has been playing an active role in pushing forward international nuclear disarmament, and has made great contribution to the conclusion of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The country actively supports the building of the International Monitoring System stated in the Treaty and stays committed to the moratorium on nuclear test. Meanwhile, China has been actively pushing the Conference on Disarmament to reach a legally binding international instrument on preventing an arms race in outer space and providing security assurance to non-nuclear weapons states as soon as possible, and has played a key role in activating the P5 dialogue mechanism. China stands ready to discuss with all parties on a wide range of issues concerning strategic stability under the frameworks of the United Nations, the Conference on Disarmament and the P5 mechanism and to launch bilateral dialogue with all parties on strategic security issues on the basis of mutual respect. But China does not accept any coercion or blackmail.

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