china Dave DeCamp Nuclear War

China Reaffirms ‘No First Use’ Nuclear Weapons Policy at UN

China and India are the only two nuclear-armed countries that have no first use policies.
Screenshot from Li Song’s Twitter.

By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com

China reaffirmed this week its no first use policy for nuclear weapons at a meeting of the UN’s General Assembly First Committee.

Li Song, the Chinese ambassador for disarmament affairs, told the committee that China “has solemnly committed to no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally.”

China and India are the only two nuclear-armed powers that maintain a no first use policy. The Biden administration’s nuclear policy allows first use, something that was hinted at in its National Security Strategy that was released last week.

The strategy reads: “A safe, secure, and effective nuclear force undergirds our defense priorities by deterring strategic attacks, assuring allies and partners, and allowing us to achieve our objectives if deterrence fails.”

Russia’s military doctrine allows the use of nuclear weapons if Russia faces an “existential threat.” Russian President Vladimir Putin recently reiterated that this policy applies to threats to Russia’s “territorial integrity.”

Li called on the US and Russia to work to dismantle their nuclear arsenals. “We also believe that the US and Russia, as the nuclear superpowers with the largest nuclear arsenals, should continue to fulfill their special and primary responsibilities towards nuclear disarmament,” he said.

But the US has an over $1 trillion plan to modernize its nuclear arsenal, which President Biden’s National Security Strategy emphasizes. “To ensure our nuclear deterrent remains responsive to the threats we face, we are modernizing the nuclear Triad, nuclear command, control, and communications, and our nuclear weapons infrastructure,” the strategy says.

Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.

4 comments

  1. Oughtn’t the citizenry of the USA be the ones okaying such a gargantuan investment in a program that – if used – kills us all and brings an everlasting nuclear winter to this earth home of ours and all the flora fauna and creatures? I feel the government of the USA is a gang of people utterly enclosed in their own game, divorced from us and reality.

  2. The threats the US faces are all self- generated. By claiming to be the leader of the globe, giving orders to others, invading and destroying any disobedient designated enemy or even “ally”, refusing to treat other nations as sovereign and with their own interests, the USA makes the whole world less safe.

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