US wants to pursue military and strategic advantages after INF withdrawal: Chinese FM

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/2 22:33:40

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying speaks at a daily breifing. File photo: VCG

China's foreign ministry said on Friday the Chinese side deeply regrets the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and disregard for opposition from the international community.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told Friday's regular media briefing that the US withdrawal from the INF treaty disregards its international commitment and pursues unilateralism. "The true aim is to free itself to pursue unilateral military and strategic advantages," Hua said.

The US formally withdrew from the treaty with Russia on Friday. The treaty bans both US and Russia from stationing short- and intermediate-range land-based missiles in Europe.

If the US resumes research and deployment of missiles, it will seriously affect the global strategic balance and stability, aggravate tensions and mistrust and threaten peace and safety in related regions, Hua noted. Reuters reported that within the next few weeks, the US is expected to test a ground-launched cruise missile. In November, the Pentagon will test an intermediate-range ballistic missile. 

"We call on the international community to maintain a clear understanding of the serious consequences of the US' withdrawal and prevent the US from excusing itself from its special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament. At the same time, we urge the US to exercise restraint and not take actions that harm the security interests of other countries," Hua said, adding that the US should fulfill its responsibility as a great power and work with the international community to safeguard global and regional peace and security.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that "the world will lose an invaluable brake on nuclear war" with the expiration of the INF on Friday.

"This will likely heighten, not reduce, the threat posed by ballistic missiles," Guterres told reporters, according to Reuters.

"Regardless of what transpires, the parties should avoid destabilizing developments and urgently seek agreement on a new common path for international arms control."


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