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UN envoy says arms control and disarmament system at crossroads

Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN. (PHOTO/CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY'S OFFICIAL WEBSITE)

A Chinese envoy to the United Nations on Tuesday pointed out that the multilateral arms control and disarmament system is at a crossroads, and the international community is facing an important choice as to where to go.

At present, the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic as it goes through profound changes never seen in a century, the international security situation is profoundly evolving and the global strategic balance and stability are facing challenges, Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, said at a general debate of the 76th UN General Assembly Disarmament and International Security Committee.

Geng pointed out that international arms control and disarmament are related to world peace and stability. Around the multilateral arms control and disarmament system with the United Nations at its core, the international community now faces four major choices:

・First, is it to regain the Cold-War mentality and create confrontation, or to promote multilateralism and maintain strategic stability?

・Second, is it to pursue pragmatism, undermine multilateral rules, or fulfill responsibilities and obligations, and advance the disarmament agenda?

・Third, is it to implement a geostrategy to suppress dissident countries, or to insist on objectivity and fairness and seek a political solution?

・Fourth, is it to abuse one's own advantages to seek technological monopoly, or to encourage openness and tolerance, and jointly formulate rules?

Geng emphasized that how the international community examines those four major issues and what choices it makes are related to the future of the multilateral arms control and disarmament system, the trend of the international strategic security pattern, and the prospect of global strategic stability. The international community should make choices based on the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, and make choices in a responsible manner.

The envoy criticized the United States for upgrading its nuclear arsenal, advancing the construction of anti-missile systems globally, deploying land-based missiles in the Asia-Pacific and Europe, developing nuclear submarine cooperation with the United Kingdom and Australia, delaying the destruction of chemical weapons, and exclusively opposing the negotiation of a biological weapons verification protocol.

Geng also urged Japan to revoke a decision to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the sea. He urged Japan to act in good faith, with a highly responsible attitude toward international public interest, and prudently address relevant issues in an open, transparent and scientific manner.