BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) — The United States should refrain from deploying nuclear weapons in the South Pacific or spreading nuclear weapons to regional countries.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily press briefing. It was recently reported Samoa’s representative to the United Nations pointed out the United States is the only one among the five nuclear-weapon states refusing to ratify the Protocols to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty. Kiribati’s president has expressed concerns about Australia’s development of nuclear submarines.
In response, Zhao said the mentioned concerns are “justified and legitimate.” Facts have proved that the U.S.-UK-Australia submarine cooperation is very unpopular and has caused alarm and rejection among regional countries and the international community.
These three countries not only blatantly instigated confrontation and division and undermined regional peace and stability but also violated the spirit of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Zhao said.
“What they have done once again proves geopolitical purposes and military confrontation. These countries wantonly go against the regional countries’ will and trample on their rights and interests,” Zhao added.
Citing historic tragedies incurred by nuclear trials carried out by the three countries, Zhao said these trials and nuclear waste severely damaged the local ecological environment and people’s health.
“The United States should heed the call from the regional countries, ratify the SPNFZT as soon as possible, earnestly implement obligations under the treaty, and refrain from deploying nuclear weapons in the region or proliferating any to the regional countries,” said the spokesperson.
For years, the United States, the UK, and Australia have been calling themselves leaders of international non-proliferation efforts, but the fact is quite the opposite, said Zhao. Zhao urged them to discard an outdated zero-sum game mentality, revoke the relevant wrong decisions, faithfully implement international obligations of non-proliferation, and contribute more to regional peace and stability.