Five nuclear world powers issued a joint statement on Monday calling for “the reduction of strategic risks” in an effort to avoid war between Nuclear-Weapon States.
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 issued a rare joint statement in which they affirmed that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
“As nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that nuclear weapons—for as long as they continue to exist—should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war,” the statement read. “We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented.”
The nations reiterated that they understand the importance of “addressing nuclear threats” and “emphasize the importance of preserving and complying with our bilateral and multilateral non-proliferation, disarmament, and arms control agreements and commitments.”
“We remain committed to our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations, including our Article VI obligation ‘to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control,’” the statement continued.
The statement also said that the five countries “intend to maintain and further strengthen our national measures to prevent unauthorized or unintended use of nuclear weapons.”
“We underline our desire to work with all states to create a security environment more conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all,” it continued. “We intend to continue seeking bilateral and multilateral diplomatic approaches to avoid military confrontations, strengthen stability and predictability, increase mutual understanding and confidence, and prevent an arms race that would benefit none and endanger all.”
“We are resolved to pursue constructive dialogue with mutual respect and acknowledgment of each other’s security interests and concerns,” the statement concluded.
The joint statement comes days after Russia test-fired two hypersonic Tsirkon cruise missiles from a submarine, and another from a frigate. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the test, “a big event in the country’s life.” He has previously referred to Russia’s hypersonic missiles as capable of evading U.S. missile defenses and hitting nearly any target worldwide.
In August 2021, China launched its own hypersonic weapon that circled the Earth before impacting a target. The test shocked the U.S., which scrubbed its own hypersonic weapon launch due to failures in late 2021. The U.S. called China’s test “concerning” and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten said China could be nearing the capability to launch a surprise nuclear attack on the U.S.