China urges five nuke powers to safeguard NPT regime
Source: China Military Online
Editor: Chen Lufan
By Yang Tiehu
LONDON Feb.17 -- The ninth formal conference among the five nuclear-weapon states (also the five permanent members (P5) of the United Nations (UN) Security Council) was held in London from February 12 to 13, 2020. It was chaired by Thomas Drew, Director General for Consular and Security at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK, with Chris Ford, Assistant Secretary of State of the US, Vladimir L. Leontiev, Deputy Director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and David Bertolotti, Director of Strategic, Security and Disarmament Affairs of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs also attending the meeting. Fu Cong, Director-General of the Arms Control Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, headed Chinese delegation to the conference.
Fu said that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation system and also an important part of the post-war international security system. With intensifying competition among major powers, the process of nuclear disarmament between the US and Russia is regressing and the use of emerging technologies for military purposes is accelerating. Global strategic stability is undermined. At the same time, the prevalence of unilateralism in some countries has caused difficulties to solve regional nuclear hotspots. The tendency to politicize in the peaceful use of nuclear energy is prominent, obstructing normal international cooperation. The NPT regime faces severe challenges as a result of the above factors.
Fu stressed that the five nuclear powers, as NPT legal nuclear weapon states, have the responsibility to strengthen coordination and cooperation and promote the success of the tenth review conference of the treaty. He then proposed four principles:
First, the P5 should abide by multilateralism, firmly maintain the international order based on international law, adhere to the common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable approach to nuclear security, and seek common and universal security.
Second, the P5 should strengthen nuclear policy dialogue and cooperate to reduce nuclear risks, maintain restraint in the construction and deployment of strategic capabilities, maintain the existing international arms control system, regulate the militarization of new technologies, and maintain global strategic stability.
Third, the P5 should maintain international consensus on nuclear disarmament, promote political and diplomatic solutions to regional nuclear hotspots, create cooperation highlights for peaceful use of nuclear energy, and strengthen the NPT mechanism.
Fourth, the P5 should adhere to unity and cooperation, respect each other's concerns, and safeguard common interests.
The P5 regime is a coordination mechanism formed by China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US as NPT legal nuclear weapon states during the review process of the treaty. Since 2009, the five member states havebeen maintainingregular communication on important issues of strategic security and jointly promoted the NPT review process.
This conference focused on the current international strategic security situation and the cooperation among the five nuclear powers in preparation for the tenth NPT Review Conference to be held this year.
The delegations from the five countries formed a work plan for the next step and agreed to carry out continued exchanges and cooperation on nuclear policies and strategies, as well as the reduction of strategic risks.
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