Hiroshima, Japan, May 19 (EFE).- G7 leaders on Friday expressed their “concern” at China’s nuclear “buildup” while also condemning Russia’s “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric.”
In a joint statement issued at the close of the first day of a summit being held in the western Japanese city of Hiroshima, the leaders of the Group of Seven nations said Beijing’s “accelerating build-up of its nuclear arsenal without transparency nor meaningful dialogue poses a concern to global and regional stability.”
The G7 leaders urged China and Russia to engage substantively in relevant multilateral and bilateral forums in line with their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which “must be upheld as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”
The statement also condemned Moscow’s “irresponsible” rhetoric in the context of its war in Ukraine, its “undermining of arms control regimes, and stated intent to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus,” calling Russia’s stance “dangerous and unacceptable.”
“We reiterate our position that threats by Russia of nuclear weapon use, let alone any use of nuclear weapons by Russia, in the context of its aggression against Ukraine are inadmissible,” the statement said.
The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to “achieving a world free of nuclear weapons”, noting that the NPT “is the only way” to achieve that goal.
They also welcomed the actions of several G7 members, such as the United States, France and the United Kingdom, in providing data on their nuclear weapons capabilities.
“We reaffirm our commitment to the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all, achieved through a realistic, pragmatic and responsible approach,” the statement said.
The communique refers to a number of actors who are allegedly undermining global security, namely Russia for its threats against Ukraine, North Korea for its continued missile launches, and China over its alleged lack of nuclear transparency.
The G7 consists of several nuclear powers, such as the US, the UK and France. France also has weapons deployed in two other countries – Germany and Italy – while Japan and Canada are part of Washington’s nuclear protection “umbrella”.
Hiroshima, the first ever city to be bombed with a nuclear weapon on August 6, 1945, is hosting the 49th G7 summit, where leaders are hoping to send a strong message pacifist and anti-nuclear message in the context of the war in Ukraine. EFE