Significance of the Joint Statement of the Five Nuclear Weapon States

On January 3, when the 2022 New Year has just begun, the People¡¯s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America believe that avoiding wars among nuclear-weapon states and reducing strategic risks are our primary responsibility.

This joint statement is relatively rare. The rare reason is the fact that the East and the West have entered the de facto Cold War in the past two years, as well as the background of tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea. It is about nuclear weapons of great concern. Instead of the two-year pandemic that has caused the loss of 5.5 million global lives as of today, the use of nuclear weapons is only a matter of seconds. Therefore, at an extraordinary moment, the five permanent members of the United Nations and the heads of the five nuclear-armed states signed and issued a joint statement for world peace under the framework of the United Nations can understand and welcome it. The author already knew that the five major countries had continued to negotiate on wording for many months at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, ranked 5th among the top global foreign policy think tanks, on December 14 of the previous year. With the joint statement, this is a major event in the peace process that concerns all mankind.

The main contents of the joint statement are:
1. We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won or won. Given that the use of nuclear weapons will have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that as long as nuclear weapons continue to exist, they should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war. We firmly believe that the further proliferation of nuclear weapons must be prevented.

2. We reaffirm the importance of responding to nuclear threats and emphasize the importance of maintaining and complying with our bilateral and multilateral non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control agreements and commitments. We will continue to comply with the obligations of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, including our obligations under Article VI, ¡°on effective measures to stop the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament at an early date, A treaty on general and complete disarmament, negotiate in good faith."

3. We are willing to maintain and further strengthen our respective national measures to prevent the unauthorized or accidental use of nuclear weapons. We reiterate that our previous statement on non-targeting is still valid, and we reiterate that we will not target each other or any other country with nuclear weapons.

4. We emphasize that we are willing to work with all countries to create a safe environment that is more conducive to the promotion of disarmament. The ultimate goal is to build a nuclear-weapon-free world on the principle that the security of all countries is not compromised. We will continue to look for bilateral and multilateral diplomatic methods to avoid military confrontation, enhance stability and predictability, enhance mutual understanding and trust, and prevent an arms race that is useless and endangers all parties. We are determined to engage in constructive dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and recognition of each other¡¯s security interests and concerns.

5. China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France are the five statutory nuclear countries recognized by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. They are also permanent members of the UN Security Council. In a joint statement on the prevention of nuclear war and the avoidance of an arms race issued by the five nations on Monday, they stated that it is their primary responsibility to avoid wars among nuclear-weapon states and reduce strategic risks.

As the current Secretary-General of the United Nations, Guterres appreciates that nuclear-weapon states recognize that they need to abide by bilateral and multilateral non-proliferation, disarmament, and arms control agreements and commitments, including their commitment to nuclear disarmament-related binding under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Obligations. Guterres said in the statement that he was encouraged by the nuclear-weapon states' commitment to take measures to prevent nuclear war, which is in line with his long-term call for dialogue and cooperation for this purpose. He looks forward to learning more about the details of future initiatives. Guterres took this opportunity to reiterate: The only way to eliminate all nuclear risks is to eliminate all nuclear weapons, and reiterated his willingness to cooperate with nuclear-weapon states and all member states to achieve this goal as soon as possible.

The Tenth Review Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was originally scheduled to be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from January 4 to 28, 2022. The review meeting was postponed due to the spread of a new wave of epidemics caused by the mutant strain of the new crown virus Omi Keron.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was concluded in 1968 and entered into force in 1970, and currently has 191 member states.

Current deployment of the five major nuclear powers/approximate total number of
US 1600/6185
Russia 1600/6500
UK 120/215
France 280/300
China 280/350

Signing of the first/last nuclear test/comprehensive nuclear test ban of the five major countries
United States 1945/1992/signature
Russia 1949/1990/approved
Britain 1952/1991/approved
France 1960/1996/approved
China 1964/1996/signed

other non-proliferation Nuclear-weapon Treaty countries/Comprehensive nuclear test ban signing status
India 130-140 / final signing
Pakistan 140-150 / final signing
North Korea 20-30 / final signing
Israel 60-400 / signing

joint declaration Responses from the United Nations and several major nuclear-armed states in the next 24 hours

United Nations Secretary-General Guterres welcomed the joint statement issued by the leaders of the five nuclear-weapon states on the prevention of nuclear war and the avoidance of an arms race through a spokesperson on January 3.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said in an interview with the media on January 4 that this is the first time the leaders of the five countries have issued a statement on nuclear weapons. Common voice. On the same day, Fu Cong, Director of the Arms Control Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, told reporters that "China will continue to modernize its nuclear arsenal to solve reliability and safety issues." Fu Cong emphasized at the press conference that ¡°the United States and Russia still own 90% of the nuclear warheads on the planet, and they must reduce their nuclear arsenals in an irreversible and legally binding manner¡±.

Russian Kremlin spokesman Peskov told RIA Novosti on January 4 that Moscow still believes it is "necessary" to hold a summit between nuclear powers to issue a motion for this statement. The Kremlin welcomed the signing of the five-nation statement and said it hoped that this move would help ease global tensions. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: "We hope that under the current severe background of the international security situation, agreeing to issue such a political statement can help ease international tensions." The

French government also stated on January 4 that it will continue. Promote bilateral and multilateral nuclear weapons control.

A report published by the Associated Press on January 4 stated that ¡°The Biden administration has conducted a comprehensive internal assessment and review of the US nuclear weapons policy in the past year. Based on President Biden¡¯s past position on nuclear weapons, the outside world expected He may further reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the United States and even make a promise to "not use nuclear weapons in the first place." However, due to the increased threats from China and Russia, the Biden administration seems to have lost the motivation to change the US nuclear weapons policy." The

Associated Press reported this . The loss of motivation within the Biden administration to change the US nuclear policy also originated from the Conference on Disarmament. In July 2020, the Geneva Conference on Disarmament was held in the Palais des Nations, U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Wood quoted "Global Times" editor-in-chief Hu Xijin's remarks that China should expand the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000, requesting an explanation from the Chinese side. According to Chinese Disarmament Ambassador Li Song's response at the meeting, the opinions expressed by a newspaper editor on his personal Weibo do not represent China's arms control policy.
Editor-in-chief Hu has recently retired, but when he was in power, the statement that China should expand nuclear warheads to 1,000 aroused alarm and suspicion in Western countries. After all, Hu is the Global Times under the People¡¯s Daily, which represents the Chinese government. International newspapers have a decisive influence internationally.

Significance of the
joint statement The joint statement has been announced. This is a paper agreement that has been published around the world. Judging from all aspects of reality, the tension between the East and the West will continue for a long time. This is not just a confrontation caused by trade and economic sanctions. It is the process of a hundred years of major changes that have occurred due to long-term conflicts of ideologies inherited from different cultures, beliefs, systems, and economic development. Therefore, it is better to have a promise than no promise. The key is that the future is in progress. It is more important to see who can fulfill the promise, otherwise there will be a nuclear race, which endangers world peace and the survival of mankind.
The joint statement is just a framework. The major powers in the future have to continue to negotiate for their own interests. There will be many major issues or major events in the negotiation process. Therefore, the road must be tortuous, and whether the future is bright is currently unpredictable and unpredictable. The answer is therefore only one step at a time.

Li Jinwei


The author, Dr. Li Jinwei, is an expert in international relations and peace studies and a fellow at Harvard University.