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Chinese diplomat to UN lists 10 facts to refute US' accusations

By LIU YINMENG in Los Angeles | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-10-11 08:32

A Chinese envoy to the United Nations on Friday refuted baseless accusations by the US by listing what he called the "10 facts about US wrongdoings in disarmament and international security".

"Just now, the US representative spread political virus in the UN and smeared China on COVID-19, which is totally unacceptable. I must point out that shrugging off responsibility cannot cover the mistakes the US made in combating the pandemic, and cannot fool the international community," said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN.

In exercising China's right of reply, Geng responded to comment made by a US representative at a meeting of the General Assembly's First Committee.

Also known as the Disarmament and International Security Committee, the First Committee deals with international security affairs such as arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation. 

At the committee's general debate on Friday, a US representative again made groundless accusations against China on COVID-19, claiming that Russia and China are engaged in nuclear build-up, and that international peace and security are under grave threat, according to the Chinese Permanent Mission to the UN.

The ambassador said that China opposes arms race, upholds multilateralism, and implements its obligations under relevant arms control treaties and agreements. It also supports dialogue and cooperation in the security area, Geng added.

"I have just one message: the US is the gravest threat to global strategic security and stability," he said, before listing 10 facts.

First, the US is "obsessed with military build-up", Geng argued. He said the country ranks first in military expenditure, spending more than $700 billion on military in 2019, nearly 40 percent of the world's total, and more than the next 10 countries combined.

The second point he made was that "the US is returning to its Cold War mentality".

"In its National Security Strategy Report and Nuclear Posture Review Report, the US blatantly defined China and Russia as strategic competitors, hyping up external threats, and stirring up confrontation among major countries," Geng said.

Third, "the US is pursuing unilateralism", the envoy said. The country "withdrew from the INF Treaty and the JCPOA, unsigned the ATT, and adopted a negative attitude towards the extension of the New START Treaty, exposing its pure pragmatism on bilateral and multilateral arms control treaties and regimes," Geng said.

He was referring to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a nuclear disarmament treaty the US and the Soviet Union signed in 1987, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 2015 nuclear deal struck between Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, the Arms Trade Treaty, a multilateral agreement that regulates the international trade in conventional weapons, as well as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, a nuclear arms reduction treaty signed by the US and Russia in 2010.

Fourth, the envoy said the country "is seeking to free its hands".

"The US has been upgrading its nuclear arsenals, and lowering the threshold for nuclear weapons use. It has dodged its special responsibility for nuclear disarmament with the pretext of so-called trilateral negotiations, and even had discussions on resuming nuclear test," he added.

Fifth, Geng argued that "the US is pushing political maneuvering" by following double standards on nuclear non-proliferation, abusing unilateral sanctions, and serving its geopolitical agenda by using the hot-spot issues such as the Iranian nuclear issue and the Korean nuclear issue.

Sixth, "the US is breaking strategic balance" by deploying missile defense systems in the Asia-Pacific and Central and Eastern Europe. It is also planning to deploy land-based medium range missiles in the Asia-Pacific and Europe, Geng said.

Seventh, "the US is impeding biological arms control", and eighth, "the US is delaying the destruction of chemical weapons", Geng said.

"As the only CWC State Party still in possession of chemical weapons, the US has extended the deadline for the destruction of chemical weapons for several times, and failed to fulfill its obligations under the Convention," said the ambassador, referring to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors.

The ninth point, Geng added, is that "the US is relaunching its star wars program". Finally, the US "is building an empire of hacking" through engaging in "massive cyber attacks and surveillance worldwide through programs such as PRISM, and developing its cyber warfare capacity in an attempt to dominate cyberspace," Geng said.

"As the strongest military power with the most advanced weapons in the world, the US has a special and primary responsibility in arms control and disarmament. 'America First' should be converted to Compliance First, Dismantlement First and Disarmament First," the envoy said.

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