Biden and the UN Security Council’s five permanent members sign joint declaration to avert nuclear war and an arms race

On Monday, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council released a declaration claiming that their nuclear weapons were not targeted at each other and that a nuclear war could not be won. 

It comes at a time when Russia and the United States are at odds over Ukraine, with suspicions that Moscow is planning an invasion of its neighbor and Washington concerned about China’s expanding regional ambitions. 

Defense authorities in the United States have repeatedly cautioned that China’s gains in weapon technology threaten to leave the United States behind. The statement puts those differences aside in order to agree to avoid an arms race that would benefit no one and endanger everyone on the entire planet. 

They are reaffirming the historic Reagan-Gorbachev declaration from their 1985 Geneva summit, in which they stated that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. 

Nonproliferation activists and arms control experts applauded the sentiment, but some argued the five nuclear-armed states needed to go beyond words. 

‘Bottom line: each of the N5 is upgrading and modernizing their deadly arsenals to varying degrees, the risk of a catastrophic n-war is still too high, key disarmament commitments have not been kept, the nuclear danger is still too high,’ tweeted Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association. 

The Pentagon at the end of last year warned that China had boosted its nuclear arsenal and that by the end of the decade, it may have at least 1000 warheads. 

China also struck a contract with Latin American and Caribbean officials this week to strengthen connections across practically all aspects of life, in what one observer described as a conspiracy to ‘take over’ the region. 

Beijing has agreed to supply the region with ‘civilian’ nuclear technology, to assist in the development of ‘peaceful’ space programmes, to build 5G networks of the type that Washington fears will be used to spy on people, and to pump in cheap loans and financing for ‘elaborate development plans,’ as part of the agreement. 

China has also promised to create schools and support classes teaching the Chinese language and “culture,” despite the fact that such institutions have been criticized in the past for spreading state propaganda and restricting academic freedom. 

It follows decades of Chinese investment and development in Latin America and the Caribbean, with hundreds of billions of dollars poured into the region to build critical infrastructure like ports, roads, and power plants in what many see as an attempt to buy power and influence in America’s backyard. 

The message was supposed to be made public during a big nuclear treaty conference at the United Nations that starts on Tuesday. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting has been postponed until August. 

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