On June 11, 2021, the State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs delivered a video speech titled Maintaining Multilateralism to Promote Common Security at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva.
Wang Yi said at the World Economic Forum’s virtual Davos Agenda event last January, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressly called on the world to “let multilateralism light the way for humanity.” Multilateralism is the world’s right path, and all countries should stay on this path. They should pursue a new approach to common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and strive to advance international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes.
Wang Yi said we must strengthen cooperation for mutual benefit, promote peace and security through cooperation, stand firm against the cold war mentality and zero-sum games, and work to ensure security for all. . We must uphold fairness and justice, strengthen the authority and effectiveness of UN-centered multilateral disarmament mechanisms, reject exceptionalism and double standards, and work towards achieving universal security. We need to take a holistic approach to improve governance. We must address the immediate major security challenges and, at the same time, adopt multi-pronged policies to eliminate potential threats, with the aim of achieving lasting security.
Wang Yi said that in the past five decades, since the restoration of the legal seat of the People’s Republic of China at the UN, China has fully participated in UN affairs and made an important contribution to peace and to global development. China has the most stable, consistent and predictable nuclear policy of any nuclear weapon state. 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 shies away from its international obligations in the areas of disarmament and arms control. China always maintains its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security and does not compete with any other country in terms of the size or scale of nuclear force.
Wang Yi put forward four proposals to advance international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes on behalf of the Chinese side:
First, we must work together to maintain global strategic stability. Nuclear disarmament must be a fair and reasonable process of gradual and balanced reduction. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council (P5) should reaffirm the important formula that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be waged, strengthen cooperation in the field of strategic risk reduction and in other areas, and deepen strategic dialogue on a wider range of security issues in order to build strategic confidence. China will continue to promote the signing of a treaty on the mutual non-use of nuclear weapons among the five nuclear-weapon states. The DC should immediately begin negotiations on international legal instruments on negative security guarantees and work for substantial 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 intermediate-range land ballistic missiles in the vicinity of other countries .
Second, we must respect international arms control treaties. States 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 manner. The parties should support the establishment 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 the countries concerned to seriously fulfill their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and complete the destruction of the stockpile of chemical weapons and abandoned chemical weapons as soon as possible. China will use its accession to the Arms Trade Treaty to engage more deeply in global efforts to end illicit transfers of conventional arms and support countries’ Silence the Arms initiative Africans.
Third, we need to resolve non-proliferation issues through negotiation. The United States and Iran must make a political decision as quickly as possible and redouble diplomatic efforts to get the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) back on track. China proposes to establish a platform for multilateral dialogue for regional security in the Persian Gulf region and to build step by step a framework for collective, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in the Middle East. China supports the construction of a zone in the Middle East free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and is ready to work to that end. China remains determined to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and to resolve the issue through dialogue and consultation. The parties concerned should follow a two-pronged approach and take progressive and synchronized steps to progress towards the goals of full denuclearization and the establishment of a permanent peace mechanism.
Fourth, we must improve the global governance of security in the new frontiers. China calls for the early launch of CD negotiations on a treaty to prevent the arms race in outer space. China stands ready to work with all parties to formulate global rules on digital governance based on the Global Data Security Initiative. While making the best possible efforts to prevent the militarization of emerging technologies, we must also avoid hindering their peaceful use and international cooperation. In particular, we must reject the attempt by a certain country to impose a technological blockade under the pretext of national security. China plans to propose a draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly this year. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the new biosafety governance challenges facing the world. Countries must build a security shield through closer international cooperation. China supports the establishment of a Biological Weapons Convention verification regime and urges the United States to stop standing alone in obstructing negotiations for a legally binding protocol on verification. China advocates responsible research in biosciences. Not so long ago, scientists from China and other countries developed the Tianjin Biosafety Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for Scientists. We encourage all stakeholders to refer to the Guidelines on a voluntary basis.
Wang Yi said China praises the disarmament program proposed by Secretary-General Guterres and will continue to assist in its implementation. As the only multilateral disarmament negotiating body of the international community, the DC must adapt to the times and strive to be creative. Member States should strengthen coordination, take into account each other’s legitimate concerns and formulate a comprehensive and balanced work program to begin 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 a further contribution to the construction of a world that enjoys lasting peace and universal security.