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Wang Yi Delivers a Video Speech at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva
2021/06/11

On June 11, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister delivered a video speech entitled Uphold Multilateralism to Promote Common Security at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva.

Wang Yi said at the World Economic Forum Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda last January, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressly called on the world "to let multilateralism light humanity's way forward." Multilateralism is the right way of the world, and all countries should stay on this path. They should pursue a new approach of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and endeavor to advance the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes.

Wang Yi said we need to strengthen cooperation for mutual benefit, promote peace and security through cooperation, stand firm against Cold War mentality and zero-sum games, and work to achieve security for all. We need to uphold fairness and justice, strengthen the authority and effectiveness of the UN-centered multilateral disarmament mechanisms, reject exceptionalism and double standards, and work to achieve universal security. We need to take a comprehensive approach to improve governance. We should address immediate prominent security challenges, and at the same time also take multi-pronged policies to remove potential threats, for the purpose of achieving sustainable security.

Wang Yi said over the past five decades since the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China at the UN, China has fully participated in UN affairs, and made important contribution to global peace and development. China has the most stable, consistent and predictable nuclear policy among all nuclear-weapon States. China is committed to a policy of not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States and nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally. China never shirks its international obligations in the areas of disarmament and arms control. China always keeps its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security, and does not compete with any other country in the size or scale of nuclear force.

Wang Yi put forward four proposals for advancing international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes on behalf of the Chinese side:

First, we need to work together to maintain global strategic stability. Nuclear disarmament should be a just and reasonable process of gradual and balanced reduction. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council (P5) should reaffirm the important formula that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, strengthen cooperation in strategic risk reduction and other areas, and deepen strategic dialogue on a broader range of strategic security issues so as to enhance strategic trust. China will continue to promote the signing of a treaty on mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons among the five nuclear-weapon States. The CD should immediately start international legal instrument negotiations on the Negative Security Assurances and work for substantive progress at an earlier date. China opposes the development and deployment of regional and global missile defense systems by a certain country that undermine strategic stability, and China opposes the deployment of land-based intermediate range ballistic missiles in the neighborhood of other countries.

Second, we need to observe international arms control treaties. State parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons should advance the three pillars of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy in a balanced way. The parties should support the building and functioning of the verification regime of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and continue to work for the early entry into force of the Treaty. China calls on countries concerned to earnestly fulfill their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and complete the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile and the abandoned chemical weapons as soon as possible. China will take its accession to the Arms Trade Treaty as an opportunity to engage more deeply in the global efforts to stop illicit transfer of conventional arms, and give its support to the Silencing the Guns initiative proposed by African countries.

Third, we need to resolve non-proliferation issues through negotiations. The United States and Iran need to make a political decision as quickly as possible and redouble diplomatic efforts to bring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) back on track. China proposes to establish a multilateral dialogue platform for regional security in the Persian Gulf region and build step by step a framework for collective, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in the Middle East. China supports building a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and stands ready to work toward that end. China remains committed to upholding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation. The parties concerned should follow a dual-track approach and take phased and synchronized actions to move toward the goals of complete denuclearization and the establishment of a permanent peace mechanism.

Fourth, we need to improve global security governance in new frontiers. China calls for the early launch of negotiations at the CD on a treaty to prevent arms race in outer space. China stands ready to work with all parties to formulate global rules on digital governance on the basis of the Global Initiative on Data Security. While making the best possible efforts to prevent weaponization of emerging technologies, we must also avoid obstructing their peaceful use and international cooperation. In particular, we must reject the attempt of a certain country to impose technology blockade under the pretext of national security. China is considering proposing a draft resolution at this year's UN General Assembly. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the new challenges of biosecurity governance facing the world. Countries need to build a security shield through closer international cooperation. China supports establishing a verification regime of the Biological Weapons Convention, and urges the United States to stop being the only one that stands in the way of negotiations for a legally binding protocol on verification. China advocates responsible research in bioscience. Not long ago, scientists from China and other countries developed the Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for Scientists. We encourage all stakeholders to refer to the Guidelines on a voluntary basis.

Wang Yi said China highly commends the disarmament agenda proposed by Secretary-General Guterres, and will continue to contribute to its implementation. As the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community, the CD needs to keep pace with the times and strive to be creative. Member states should strengthen coordination, accommodate each other's legitimate concerns, and formulate a comprehensive and balanced Programme of Work to start the substantive work at an early date. As a responsible member of the CD family, China stands ready to work with all parties to steadily advance international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes, and make new contribution to building a world that enjoys lasting peace and universal security.

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