By Hu Xiaodao
The US has gone further down the path of withdrawing from international treaties and organizations in the past year. It has revoked the signing of the Arms Trade Treaty, exited the Open Skies Treaty, unilaterally relaxed the control standard over drone export imposed by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and dragged its feet on renewing the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). The headstrong and reckless actions by US administration have caused severe concerns in the international community and may exert substantial negative effects on global security situation.
The international community is worried about US capricious actions.
The international community has constantly voiced concerns over Washington's capricious behaviors in the past year.
America's withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) will cause the "most negative impact" on international security situation, said Sergey Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister. Russian deputy defense minister Alexander Fomin also pointed out that Washington had long planned to back out of the INF Treaty, so the responsibility falls completely on the American side, whose consistent rejection to perform its responsibilities for arms control is aimed to maintain its military dominance.
America's withdrawal from the INF Treaty is a serious mistake, claimed an official statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry on August 3. After withdrawal from the treaty, Washington has been taking fast steps to complete its weapon development which is previously been limited, and publicly announced to deploy advanced missiles in the Asia-Pacific region, while also not ruling out the deployment in Europe. The US deployment of medium-range and medium-to-short-range missiles across the world will undermine regional and global stability and trigger a new round of nuclear arms race.
According to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the termination of the INF Treaty will cost the world "an invaluable brake on nuclear war" with mounting threats from ballistic missiles. Several members of the UN Security Council have stressed the damages to international peace and security caused by US’ frequent test launches of medium-range missiles, and the negative impacts on global arms control efforts exerted by the invalidation of the INF Treaty. The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that the termination of the treaty will affect Europe's security and may lead to a new nuclear arms race.
Dim prospects on arms control.
In general, its exit from INF Treaty last year and the continuous missile test launches and tearing up of treaties in the past year have fully exposed Washington's true color of upholding unilateralism and seeking military hegemony, which has seriously damaged world and regional peace and security, disrupted the process of international arms control and disarmament, poisoned major-country mutual trust, and undermined global strategic stability. It's unlikely that the US will put a brake on its capricious actions on arms control, making the global arms control and security situation very pessimistic.
On the one hand, the current arms control system can hardly sustain. The termination of INF Treaty leaves New START the only arms control treaty between Washington and Moscow, which, to expire in 2021, is intended to limit the two countries' deployment of nuclear warheads and number of carrier vehicles. The US-Russian arms control dialogue in Vienna, Austria, in June this year failed to achieve anything substantial on issues such as the renewal of New START, mainly because of the US' passive attitude. If the two sides failed to agree on the renewal of the treaty, the current international arms control system will be on the verge of “collapse”, causing inestimable consequences.
On the other hand, regional security situation is faced with major challenges. As the comment goes, America's exit from INF Treaty will “lift all restrictions on medium-range missiles and multiply threats to global security and stability". The National Interest, an American magazine, recently published an article on its website saying that the age of tactical ballistic missile is arriving with the termination of INF Treaty and America's accelerated development and deployment of medium-range missiles.
Going forward, Washington's deployment of medium-range missiles in Asia Pacific and Europe may incur strong countermeasures from relevant countries, plunging the international security situation to an abyss of grave challenges.