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China Proposes Treaty on No First Use of Nuclear Weapons

March 13, 2024 (EIRNS)—China has put forward a proposal for a treaty among the Big 5 nuclear powers, pledging no first use of nuclear weapons against each other, or, if not a pledge, at least a political statement to such effect. The Director General of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Arms Control Department, Sun Xiaobo, made the proposal during an address to a weekly meeting of the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD) on Feb. 26, in which he made broadranging remarks on global security.

“China calls upon nuclear-weapon states to negotiate and conclude a treaty on ‘mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons’ or issue political statements in this regard,” Sun said. “Countries that are part of ‘nuclear sharing’ or ‘extended deterrence’ arrangements should reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national and collective security policies in a practical manner and terminate the inappropriate arrangements.”

Sun included that proposal under the proposition that the CD “should maintain consensus in nuclear disarmament and advance [the] nuclear disarmament process.” Other propositions he put forward for the CD included: uphold multilateralism and achieve common security; balance development and security, and oppose the practice of decoupling and severing; and, attach importance to the formulation of international rules in response to the challenge of emerging technologies.

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