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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 30, 2021
2021-09-30 20:03

CCTV: The High-Level Week of the 76th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations was concluded at the UN headquarters in New York on September 27. China has been very active in both Beijing and New York in recent days. How do you see China's performance at UNGA meetings this year?

Hua Chunying: This UNGA has received great attention as our world is facing the combined impacts of changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic, and is now in the period of new turbulence and adjustment. The General Debate of this session of the UNGA was held both online and offline from September 21 to 27, and leaders from altogether over 190 countries made statements. All parties called on major countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, avoid division and confrontation, and hoped to see more cooperation in poverty alleviation and climate change, among other areas. They believe the world needs a spirit that serves the welfare of humanity instead of self-interests in the future.

China attaches great importance to the role of and cooperation with the UN. China highly values this session of the UNGA. President Xi Jinping virtually attended the General Debate and made an important statement, in which he put forward the Global Development Initiative, emphasized accelerating the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and pursuing more robust, greener and sound global development. President Xi also expounded on China's propositions on such issues as fighting the pandemic in solidarity, economic recovery, development of international relations and improvement of global governance, offering China's proposal to the world at a new historical crossroads. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended many UNGA activities, including the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action via video link, the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General via video link, G20 Foreign Ministers' Video Conference on Afghanistan, and meetings with UN Secretary-General Guterres and President of the UNGA Abdulla Shahid. The international community shares the view that China has made important contributions to responding to global challenges and promoting the UN to play a bigger role. Facts have proven again that China is an advocate of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order and a provider of public good.

At the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi put forward key messages of carrying out duties, fulfilling obligations, shouldering responsibilities and making a difference. He called on major countries to set examples in upholding multilateralism and inject more confidence and stability to the world, instead of practicing unilateralism and hegemony in the name of multilateralism. One can expect China's support for the UN, which is lasting and reliable. China will continue to work with other countries to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, strengthen anti-epidemic cooperation, actively address climate change, advance democracy and rule of law in international relations, practice the philosophy of international relations featuring mutual respect and win-win cooperation and true multilateralism, and build the UN into a central platform for countries to jointly safeguard universal security, share development achievements and chart the course for the future of the world.

Macau Monthly: On September 29, US ambassador to Indonesia and Special Representative for the DPRK Sung Kim reportedly said at an online forum that AUKUS is a "forward looking, positive" initiative and will not pose threat to the stability of the Indo-Pacific. He said he is not worried that AUKUS would cause an arms race or nuclear proliferation. What is China's comment?

Hua Chunying: We have noticed the reports you mentioned. In fact, for days, different parties of the international community have expressed concerns and worries about the nuclear submarine cooperation among the US, the UK and Australia. I wonder where the confidence in the remarks of the US Ambassador to Indonesia came from and on what basis. In fact, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said the other day that Russia has raised a range of questions concerning the AUKUS establishment to the US side, which include whether the nuclear submarine cooperation correlates with international non-proliferation requirements.

China believes that the nuclear submarine cooperation among the US, the UK and Australia creates serious nuclear proliferation risks, clearly violates the spirit of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It will not only have a far-reaching impact on the international non-proliferation system, but also bring real threats to regional peace and stability.

The questions raised by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov actually reflect the common concerns of the international community. The three countries should treat the concerns of all parties seriously and make response to each and every one of them:

First, in what way can the US confirm that its provision of weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium meet international non-proliferation rules and requirements?

Second, how does Australia ensure that the weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium is not excluded from effective safeguards of the IAEA?

Third, if Australia, a non-nuclear-weapon state, can possess weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium, then for what reason the US, the UK and Australia oppose DPRK, Iran and other countries in doing the same?

Fourth, if the US can flagrantly transfer highly sensitive nuclear materials and nuclear technologies to Australia in disregard of international rules and nuclear proliferation risks, then should it immediately stop unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdictions over others including the DPRK and Iran for developing nuclear technologies?

Fifth, if all countries turn a blind to rules and conduct nuclear proliferation activities without restrictions as the US, the UK and Australia did, then where is the authority and the meaning of existence of the NPT and international non-proliferation system?

Yesterday, State Councilor Wang Yi pointed out in his phone calls with foreign ministers of Malaysia and Brunei that the nuclear submarine cooperation among the US, the UK and Australia may bring five dangers to the region. First, it could create nuclear proliferation risks and shocks to the international non-proliferation system. Second, it could induce a new round of arms race, as other countries could follow suit and even cross the nuclear threshold. Third, it could undermine regional prosperity and stability and create regional tensions. Fourth, it could undercut ASEAN countries' efforts to build a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) in Southeast Asia. Fifth, it could lead to the resurgence of Cold War mentality, provoke bloc confrontation and zero-sum geopolitical games in the region.

I also want to stress that AUKUS, like Quad, is subservient to and serves the Indo-Pacific strategy with US dominance. It seeks to start things anew in the region and is a move against the trend of the times. Regional countries and the international community should stay wary of and be opposed to this. China will stay in communication with the Secretariat and other member states of the IAEA to resolutely defend the authority and efficacy of the international non-proliferation system.