U.S. deterrence, pressure increase tension on Korean Peninsula: Chinese envoy

2023-03-21 16:39:04Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A Chinese envoy said on Monday that the U.S. tactic of deterrence and pressure has led to elevated tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, also called on parties to the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation to repeal their decision and set a right path for resolving the Korean Peninsula issue with concrete actions.

"Tensions and confrontations are on the rise on the Korean Peninsula. China is concerned about this," Geng told a Security Council briefing on the Korean Peninsula issue.

The current situation on the Peninsula is by no means the result of an accident, he said, noting that back in 2018, the United States failed to respond with goodwill in accordance with the action-for-action principle to a positive initiative by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), missing an important opportunity for achieving denuclearization on the Peninsula.

Since the start of this year, the United States and some others have staged unprecedented large-scale joint military exercise on the Peninsula and in its surrounding areas, and have been planning to expand the deployment of strategic weapons.

"This tactic of deterrence and pressuring has further entrenched the DPRK's sense of insecurity, leading the situation to this elevated tension," said Geng.

He emphasized that the international community must face the crux of the Korean Peninsula issue, draw lessons from history, and remain committed to a political solution.

China supports the Security Council in playing a constructive role in promoting a political solution, but the discussions to be had and actions to be taken by the Security Council should be for the purpose of easing tensions, restoring dialogue and promoting unity, Geng said. "It should not do anything just for the purpose of highlighting its existence," he said.

China has expressed reservations over a Security Council resolution or a Presidential Statement "precisely because we do not think this is constructive," he said.

The United States has been calling on the DPRK to renounce its nuclear weapons program under the banner of non-proliferation, while it is making moves to transfer tons of weapon-grade enriched uranium to a non-nuclear weapon state, using a double standard that seriously undermines the credibility of the Security Council, Geng said.

The AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation undermines the international non-proliferation regime, spurs an arms race and threatens regional peace and security, he said, adding that it is also not conducive for the international community to promote a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

China calls upon certain countries to heed the calls of international community and regional countries, abandon a Cold War mentality and bloc politics, stop political maneuvering, implement non-proliferation obligations in an earnest manner by repealing the decision on the nuclear submarine cooperation, and blaze a right path for resolving the Peninsula issue through concrete actions, Geng said.

The envoy later took the floor again in response to remarks by U.S. and British delegates on the issues including the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation.

As far as the dangers of nuclear proliferation are concerned, the AUKUS cooperation among the United States, Britain and Australia is undoubtedly "the elephant in the room," Geng said.

Their so-called "adherence to the highest nuclear non-proliferation standards" is nothing but deception, he said, noting that the cooperation among the three parties is in essence the first ever transfer of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium from nuclear weapon states to a non-nuclear weapon state, which will allow Australia to easily cross the nuclear threshold.

This poses a serious proliferation risk and goes contrary to the objective and purpose of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, he said.

Geng stressed that China's position on the Korean Peninsula issue has been clear and consistent.

"We are for the peace and stability on the Peninsula, we are for the denuclearization of the Peninsula, and we are for solving problems through diplomatic means and negotiations. That position has not been changed," he said.

The envoy urged the U.S. and British delegates and others concerned to treat the joint draft resolution from China and Russia seriously as it is intended to create goodwill.

"If some countries are really concerned about detente on the Peninsula, they should treat such resolution with the seriousness that it deserves," Geng said. 


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