UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Friday rejected U.S. accusations against China over COVID-19 and disarmament at the General Debate of the First Committee of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
In his statement, a U.S. representative made groundless accusations against China over COVID-19, and claimed that Russia and China are engaged in nuclear build-up.
Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, exercised the right of reply and rejected the accusations.
The U.S. representative spread "political virus" and smeared China over COVID-19, which is totally unacceptable, he said, adding that shrugging off responsibility cannot cover the mistakes the United States has made in combating the pandemic, and cannot fool the international community.
China categorically rejects the baseless accusations leveled by the U.S. representative against China's arms control policy. China opposes arms race, upholds multilateralism, implements its obligations under relevant arms control treaties and agreements and supports dialogue and cooperation in the security area. China's positive contribution to international security and disarmament is widely recognized, he said.
The United States, however, poses the gravest threat to global strategic security and stability, he said.
First, the United States is obsessed with military build-up. It ranks first in military expenditure. Its defense spending exceeded 700 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, nearly 40 percent of the world's total, and higher than the next 10 countries combined, he noted.
Second, Geng said, the United States is returning to the Cold War mentality. In its National Security Strategy Report and Nuclear Posture Review Report, the country blatantly defined China and Russia as strategic competitors, hyping up external threats, and stirring up confrontation among major countries.
Third, the United States is pursuing unilateralism. It withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Iran nuclear deal, unsigned the Arms Trade Treaty, and adopted a negative attitude toward the extension of the New START Treaty, exposing its pure pragmatism on bilateral and multilateral arms control treaties and regimes, he said.
Fourth, the United States is seeking to free its hands. It has been upgrading its nuclear arsenal and lowering the threshold for nuclear weapons use. It has dodged its special responsibility for nuclear disarmament with the pretext of so-called trilateral negotiations, and even began to talk about resuming nuclear testing, he said.
Fifth, the United States is pushing political maneuvering. It follows double standards on nuclear non-proliferation, abuses unilateral sanctions, and serves its geopolitical agenda by using hot-spot issues such as the Iranian nuclear issue and the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, he continued.
Sixth, the United States is breaking strategic balance. It has deployed missile defense systems in the Asia-Pacific region and Central and Eastern Europe, and is planning to deploy land-based medium-range missiles in these regions, in an attempt to enhance military presence and seek absolute dominance, Geng said.
Seventh, the United States is impeding biological arms control. It is the only country blocking the relaunch of negotiations for a protocol that includes a verification regime to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention, and obstructing international efforts to verify biological activities. The United States is now a stumbling block for multilateral biological arms control, he said.
Eighth, the United States is delaying the destruction of chemical weapons. As the only Chemical Weapons Convention State Party still in possession of chemical weapons, the United States has extended the deadline for the destruction of its chemical weapons for several times, and failed to fulfill its obligations under the convention. It has become the biggest obstacle to a world free of chemical weapons, he noted.
Ninth, the United States is relaunching its star wars program. It has created the Space Force, re-established the Space Command, and sped up weapon tests and military drills in outer space. These acts threaten outer space security and seriously contradict the peaceful use of outer space, he said.
Tenth, the United States is building a hacking empire. It is engaged in massive cyber attacks and in surveillance worldwide through programs such as PRISM. It is developing its cyber warfare capacity in an attempt to dominate cyberspace, he said.
The above-mentioned 10 facts are merely a glimpse of the U.S. wrongdoings in the field of global security and disarmament. The international community sees the U.S. wrongdoings very clearly, Geng added.
Multilateral arms control and disarmament concern international peace and security and the well-being of all countries. UN member states, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, have a responsibility and obligation to participate in the process on an equal footing. Unilateralism, exceptionalism, and bullying practices will get nowhere, he said.
As the strongest military power with the most advanced weaponry in the world, the United States has a special and primary responsibility in arms control and disarmament. "America First" should be converted to "compliance first, dismantlement first, and disarmament first," he said.
Geng asked the United States to participate in the work of the First Committee in an open, responsible and constructive manner, and work with other countries to ensure the success of the committee's work, promote international arms control and disarmament process, and safeguard global strategic security and stability.
The First Committee of the UN General Assembly deals with international security affairs such as arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. In First Committee sessions, member states will engage in the general debate and thematic discussions on various issues, including nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, conventional weapons, disarmament and outer space.