China: US has no right to lecture others on compliance with obligations

The US administration has no right to lecture anyone on compliance with obligations in the wake of the country’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran’s nuclear program, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a briefing on Friday.

The US Department of State earlier released a 2019 report dubbed “Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” which particularly says that “China probably carried out multiple nuclear weapon-related tests or experiments in 2018.” “China’s possible preparation to operate its test site year round and its use of explosive containment chambers, coupled with China’s lack of transparency on their nuclear testing activities, raise questions regarding its adherence to the ‘zero-yield’ nuclear weapons testing moratorium,” the report reads.

While commenting on the document, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said that “the United States should first rethink its attitude to its own obligations and start implementing them before lecturing others.”

“The relevant documents, including treaties on non-proliferation and arms control, are the pillars of global peace, stability and security,” Geng Shuang pointed out, highlighting the need to adhere to those documents. “China is a responsible party that complies with its international obligations,” the diplomat added.

On August 2, Washington formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987. It applied to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington repeatedly accused Russia of violating the accord, but Moscow vehemently dismissed all accusations and, in its turn, expressed grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.

Following Washington’s withdrawal, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the Treaty had been terminated at the United States’ initiative.