Backgrounder: Major nuclear states' stances on disarmament and non-proliferation

21:07, April 08, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev signed a landmark nuclear arms control deal on Thursday in the Czech capital of Prague.

The following are the world's major nuclear states' stances on disarmament and non-proliferation.


China urges a total ban on and complete destruction of nuclear weapons, and firmly rejects nuclear proliferation. It pursues the conclusion of an international legal document to this effect. It also advocates peaceful use of nuclear power and international cooperation in this regard.

China has committed not to initiate the use of nuclear force under all circumstances, and has undertaken to refrain unconditionally from using or threatening to use nuclear force against any non-nuclear states or regions.


The United States owns the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and the Congress has not yet ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CNTBT).

President Obama has made a shift of strategy on nuclear issues from the Bush administration since he took office. His nuclear policy boils down to rebuilding U.S. leadership in non-proliferation and arms control and upgrading its nuclear arsenal while not developing new nuclear weapons.

The Nuclear Posture Review issued by the Pentagon on Wednesday puts preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism at the top of the U.S. nuclear agenda.


Russia owns a nuclear arsenal second only to the United States. In disarmament negotiations with the United States, Russia insisted leveraging arms control against the U.S. missile shield plan in East Europe.

When the U.S. announced the suspension of the defense plan last September, Russia expressed a wish to make progress on the path of verifiable and irreversible nuclear disarmament. However, it wants to maintain a balance with the U.S. in terms of strategic offensive arms.

In addition, Russia puts a strict limit on nuclear material and technology exports, and promotes the denuclearization of the former Soviet Union region as well as the existing international non-proliferation system.


Britain pledged to follow the footsteps of the United States and Russia in disarmament if nuclear weapons were further slashed in the two countries, but would keep a minimum level of nuclear deterrence.

In order to prevent terrorists from accessing nuclear materials, Britain proposed a compromise deal for nuclear and non-nuclear states, in which Britain promises to provide civilian nuclear technologies to countries renouncing development of nuclear programs.


France seeks to boost its nuclear weapons' accuracy and capability while maintaining a minimum amount of deterrence.

France's non-proliferation stance is mainly demonstrated in President Nicolas Sarkozy's letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which promotes the universal ratification of CNTBT, transparent dismantlement of nuclear test facilities, and early negotiation on prevention of producing fissionable materials.

Source: Xinhua


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