THE NORTHEAST ASIAN NUCLEAR FREE ZONE AND CHINESE VIEWS

By Liu Ming, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences


Main Principles of Chinese Government towards Nuclear Weapons

Basic goal: comprehensive ban of nuclear test and total elimination of nuclear weapon. first step: stop nuclear tests, production and deployment comprehensively by all nuclear powers; second step: the U.S. and Russia as two nuclear giants should take a lead to reduce their arsenal massively; third step: other nuclear powers should join the U.S. and Russia's reduction activities; fourth step: all nuclear powers should decide to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

Position on Northeast Asia Nuclear Zone

In Principle, China supports to set up some nuclear free zones in the whole world where there are currently no nuclear powers, weapons, facilities, production base, particularly all the countries in the zones have pledged to abandon nuclear development policy. At present, China support Southeast Asian Nuclear Free Zones, Latin American Nuclear Free Zones, South Pacific Nuclear Free Zones and Korean Peninsula Nuclear Free Zones.

In Northeast Asia, the situation is more complex, because this is a place of big powers interests convergence. The U.S., Russia and China are three important nuclear powers, and though Japan is not a nuclear power, it is under the American nuclear umbrella protection, hence, Japan is a cover or quasi nuclear country.

The U.S, as a single superpower, will not abandon its balance role and security guarantor in this region. Keeping its military presence and nuclear deterrence and superior striking capability world be its fundamental means for the above end. Russia, curtailed its influence greatly as an empire in the last decade, is trying to maintain its strategic nuclear power intact so as to ensure its great power's position. Amid two great powers, though it intends to promote the elimination of nuclear weapons, China couldn't give away its relative small-sized nuclear power in terms of current world nuclear powers status.

Therefore, the Northeast Asia Nuclear Free Zone will be an ideal model for the time-being, which only could be set as a final goal for pursuance and promotion until major powers would like to completely destroy their nuclear weapon throughout the world.

A Feasible Current Policy

1. All the countries in the region should place more emphasis on control crisis and tension reduction in the hot spots. The best means for this goal will require all the countries genuinely change cold-war thinking, stopping any military deployment activity, hostile action aimed at particular country. If the normal bilateral relations could be developed well among Northeast Asian countries, a benign security environment would be created, which will enhance de-nuclearization movement in the world.

2. Though it is not likely to realize Northeast Asian Nuclear Free Zone, the countries concerned could manage to guarantee Korean Peninsula Nuclear Free Zone. The approaches include: KEDO's task in building LWR's, Four-way Talks, surrounding powers resolute opposition to the nuclear development in Korean Peninsula.

3. The U.S. should change the nuclear doctrine of "First Strike Alternative", reaching an agreement with China and Russia for not first using nuclear weapons.

4. The U.S. and Japan should abandon the plan for deploying Theater Missile Defense System which will trigger new round of missile arms race and hostility in East Asia. 5. Five Nuclear Powers and India, Pakistan should first freeze developing and upgrading their nuclear weapon, then the U.S. and Russia should consider to start nuclear disarmament on a large scale; finally, all the nuclear powers should begin a gradual, substantive process for nuclear reduction and elimination.


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