Nations should strive for a world where nuclear weapons are prohibited and where existing stocks are destroyed, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech at the United Nations on Wednesday.
“Nuclear weapons should be completely prohibited and destroyed over time to make the world free of nuclear weapons,” the Chinese president said in Geneva.
In a lengthy address at the UN’s European headquarters alongside with the world body’s new chief Antonio Guterres, Xi also made a robust case for a global governance system based on equality among nations.
“We should reject dominance by just one or several countries”, Xi said, adding that “major powers should respect each other’s core interests.”
“Big countries should treat smaller countries as equals instead of acting as a hegemon imposing their will on others,” he further said.
In his disarmament call and plea for sovereign equality Xi offered China as a nation “committed to building a world of lasting peace.”
The remarks come at the end of a four-day diplomatic tour across Switzerland that included a landmark address at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos.
Some analysts saw his Davos speech on Tuesday as a attempt to grab the mantle of global leadership from the United States, where Donald Trump will be sworn in as the country’s 45th president on Friday.
Trump’s astonishing rise has raised questions among political elite about Washington’s role in the world.
Trump has offered a series of at times contradictory remarks on American nuclear power, saying the country needed to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capacity”, while later indicating he favoured a disarmament deal with Russia.