Vietnam receives high regard in arms control and Covid-19 prevention

The role of Vietnam in arms control and Covid-19 prevention has received praises from the US Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea.
October 02, 2020 | 11:51
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Receiving high regard in arms control and Covid-19 prevention

According to Vn Express, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea has expressed high regard for Vietnam’s role in arms control and Covid-19 prevention.

Billingslea was speaking as the leader of U.S. delegation visiting Vietnam, Japan and South Korea for discussions on threats posed by nuclear weapons in the region.

Vietnam was picked as a destination for the trip given its status as the ASEAN chair this year, the presence of several high-level and experienced diplomats on arms control, and its numerous achievements in arms control, as also for the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the U.S.-Vietnam relations this year, he said at an online press conference on October 1.

The U.S. delegation, which arrived in Vietnam Wednesday night, includes Lieutenant General Thomas A. Bussiere, Deputy Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command. Billingslea said the presence of Bussiere, a high-ranking U.S general, as part of the delegation showcased the U.S.’s seriousness on advancing its military and strategic cooperation with Vietnam.

Vietnam receives high regard in arms control and covid 19 prevention
U.S. special envoy Marshall Billingslea speaks to the media in Vienna, Austria, June 23, 2020. Photo by Reuters/Leonhard Foeger.

He also had high praise and appreciation for Vietnam’s efforts in tackling and controlling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Billingslea’s visit to Hanoi aimed to discuss bilateral relations as well as regional and global issues. She noted that the comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and the U.S. has seen steady progress of late.

The nuclear threat is greater than at any point since the Cold War

As we mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is crucial that the survivors of the bombings, the hibakusha, are at the forefront of discussions about nuclear weapons.

Their powerful appeals for a nuclear free world have been a driving force in highlighting the moral unacceptability of a weapon that causes such indiscriminate and terrible suffering. Yet despite their efforts, the threat posed by nuclear weapons is now higher than at any point since the height of the Cold War, The Elders reported.

Vietnam receives high regard in arms control and covid 19 prevention
An unidentified nuclear-powered attack submarine (SNA - Sous-marin nucleaire d'attaque) of the French army is pictured at the naval base in the French military port of Toulon, in the south of the country, on Friday. — AFP/VNA Photo

Geopolitical tensions are significantly increasing these risks, as other nuclear powers – including Russia, China and India – are also modernising their arsenals and developing exotic and destabilising new weapons. Dangerous recent military confrontations between India and Pakistan have underlined the seriousness of these threats.

Abolition remains bleak as Nuclear powers continue to modernise their arsenals

"The loss of key channels of communication between Russia and the USA... could potentially lead to a new nuclear arms race," said Shannon Kile, director of the nuclear arms control programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and co-author of the report. Russia and the US account for more than 90 per cent of the world's nuclear weapons, AFP reported.

Kile was referring to the future of the New START treaty between the US and Russia, which is set to expire in February 2021.

Vietnam receives high regard in arms control and covid 19 prevention
Photo: The Elders

It is the final nuclear deal still in force between the two superpowers, aimed at maintaining their nuclear arsenals below Cold War levels.

"Discussions to extend New START or to negotiate a new treaty made no progress in 2019," the SIPRI researchers noted.

At the same time, nuclear powers continue to modernise their weapons while China and India are increasing the size of their arsenals.

Vietnam receives high regard in arms control and covid 19 prevention
Photo: AP

"China is in the middle of a significant modernisation of its nuclear arsenal. It is developing a so-called nuclear triad for the first time, made up of new land- and sea-based missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft," SIPRI said.

The country has repeatedly rejected Washington's insistence that it join any future nuclear arms reduction talks.

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