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The Chinese Foreign Ministry called on NATO to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in security policy.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry called on NATO to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in security policy.

NATO countries must reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national and collective security policy if they are truly interested in reducing strategic risks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a briefing on Wednesday.

Earlier, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg, following the first day of the NATO summit in Vilnius, said that the countries of the alliance agreed to jointly counteract the growing influence and military power of China, which, in their opinion, continues to challenge the rules-based world order, refuses to condemn the actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, threatens Taiwan, continues to build up military power, and is also carrying out the modernization of its nuclear arsenal at an unprecedented pace and scale.

“NATO, as the military alliance with the most powerful nuclear weapons, has been engaging in ‘microphone diplomacy’ in recent years to irresponsibly inflate China’s nuclear threat. This is shifting blame and absolute hypocrisy, China expresses serious concern and strongly opposes this,” the diplomat said.

He added, “China has always taken an extremely cautious and responsible position on the issue of nuclear weapons, has always adhered to a nuclear defense strategy, and has always maintained its nuclear forces at the lowest level necessary to ensure national security.”

China, the official said, has never participated in a nuclear arms race and adheres to a policy of never and under no circumstances be the first to use nuclear weapons, as well as not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons to countries that do not possess nuclear weapons and zones free of nuclear weapons. nuclear weapons.

“China is the only nuclear-weapon state that adheres to this policy. Tell me, which NATO member country would dare to make such a commitment?” Wang Wenbin pointed out.

The diplomat stressed that this made the international community even more concerned about the NATO agreements on the joint use of nuclear weapons.

“Thanks to this plan, NATO has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, and individual member states will intensify their efforts to modernize their nuclear forces, strengthening the so-called extended nuclear deterrence and exacerbating the risk of nuclear proliferation and nuclear conflict,” Wang said.

According to him, “if NATO member countries are really interested in reducing strategic risks and maintaining strategic stability, they should take practical steps to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in the policy of ensuring national and collective security.”