September 18, 2017 13:11
China's ambassador to the U.S. on Friday slammed resurgent calls for Washington's East Asian allies to arm themselves with nuclear weapons.
Cui Tiankai told reporters at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, "We are certainly opposed to the existence of nuclear weapons anywhere on the Korean Peninsula... anywhere."
Cui added that Beijing will not recognize North Korea as a nuclear power. "It could only make things much worse," he said, if South Korea, Japan and Taiwan also arm themselves with nukes.
Cui said he understands South Korea's concerns due to its proximity to North Korea, adding that China hopes to help ease these concerns. But he stressed that South Korea's defense against North Korea's threats must "not damage the safety interest of China."
China has vehemently protested against the deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. in South Korea and implemented a sweeping unofficial boycott. Beijing fears that the THAAD's powerful radar could be used to spy on its military activities.
The ambassador said Tokyo harbors intentions to use the North Korean threat as an excuse to re-arm. He warned that the international community must be wary of Japan's "political motives."
He said Taiwan cannot have nuclear weapons because Beijing views the island nation as a renegade province.
Responding to U.S. calls to do more to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, Cui said China will implement all the UN Security Council sanctions against the North, "no more and no less."
China opposed the complete oil embargo the U.S. wanted.
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