主页 > ENGLISH > World Views > china >
Strengthen arms control regime
Time:2013-06-25 15:46         Author:Hu Yumin         Source:China Daily

 

 

The war rhetoric of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea along with its threat to conduct more nuclear tests are the latest proof of how weak the nuclear arms control regime is. 
However, several global initiatives have been made to strengthen the nuclear arms control mechanism. The United States and Russia, for instance, signed the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty on April 8, 2010, (it was ratified later and came into force on Feb 5, 2011), and thus broke the deadlock that had been haunting nuclear disarmament. Now the Obama administration is reportedly considering holding talks with Russia on further reducing strategic nuclear weapons, perhaps to less than 1,000 each. 
Also, the Nuclear Posture Review recently issued by the US Department of Defense is aimed at reducing the use of nuclear weapons only to counter a nuclear threat. The reviewing process also considered "no first use of nuclear weapons", which is a positive move closer to China's stance. 
Besides, the promotion of international cooperation in nuclear safety is a highlight of Sino-US strategic cooperation. Both countries supported the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and followed it up by making efforts to tackle the threats of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Now that President Barack Obama is into the third month of his second term, he is expected to make more efforts in the nuclear disarmament field. 
Nuclear proliferation still poses a threat to regional and international security, and the situation is becoming more complicated and severe. Since the Iranian nuclear issue is yet to be resolved, the likelihood of a new military conflict breaking out in the Middle East cannot be ruled out. And the DPRK has escalated tensions in Northeast Asia by launching two satellites last year and conducting a third nuclear test two months ago despite the Security Council's warnings to the contrary. 
In South Asia, nuclear proliferation combined with terrorism poses a threat to regional and global security. So the permanent Security Council members, especially China and the US, have to shoulder the responsibility of resolving the burning regional issues to safeguard peace. 
Moreover, the US-Russia nuclear disarmament process still follows the START mechanism that American and Russian leaders worked out in 1985, and their nuclear disarmament treaty is based on the concept of "mutual assured destruction". Therefore, nuclear disarmament measures are neither exhaustive nor irreversible, and the disarmament process is devoid of enduring motivation. The situation thus created is not totally conducive to promoting the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or NPT, across the world. 
Two obvious tendencies are evident in the international arms control and disarmament regimes. First, not enough importance is given to non-nuclear issues such as missile defense, long-distance precision-guided strike system, outer space and cyberspace in the disarmament process. But the innovations in military science and technology, and major countries' renewed weapon development programs make it mandatory for the international community to accord them due importance when discussing nuclear weapons and strategic stability. 
Second, regional issues have significant influence on global strategic stability. Russia has alleged that the anti-missile system deployed by NATO in Europe is compatible with the US' domestic anti-missile system, which means forward deployment of American anti-missile system against Russia and destruction of the regional and international strategic balance. This has become a big hurdle for US-Russia negotiations to further reduce their nuclear arsenal. 
More importantly, the US' anti-missile system has reached the Asia-Pacific region. Arguably, more than 50 percent of the US Navy's long-distance strike systems are concentrated in the region, and their number will continue to grow in the next decade. 
Washington's "extended deterrence" has also had an impact on security in Northeast Asia. The US' weapons' development program is based on the idea of seeking absolute security. It pursues overwhelming dominance not only in attacking systems, but also in defending ones, which squeezes other countries' strategic space. Furthermore, some Northeast Asian countries' strategic choices, such as "pro-active deterrence", have influenced the decision of others.  (军控协会)