March 20, 2017 8:57 pm JST

China not to join U.N. talks on treaty to ban nuclear arms

BEIJING (Kyodo) -- China said Monday it will not participate in U.N. negotiations beginning next week in New York on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons.

China, one of the five major states possessing nuclear arms, sent its officials to a preparatory meeting on the negotiations in mid-February and was weighing up the possibility of it joining them at the U.N. headquarters from March 27.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said "after careful examination" China made the decision to maintain the framework of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The four other major nuclear states -- Britain, France, Russia, and the United States -- from the beginning had no plans to take part in the U.N. negotiations.

Speaking at a press briefing, Hua said China's position to support "complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons has not changed," despite its non-participation.

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