Lords consider case for intensified discussions with China on nuclear disarmament

21 November 2012

Peers including members of the Top Level Group for Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation will debate the case for intensified discussions on multilateral nuclear disarmament with China, on Thursday 22 November.

Lord Browne of Ladyton (Labour), who tabled the debate and will therefore speak first, said:

“With the re-election of President Obama, it is expected that his ambition of a nuclear-weapon free world will be an important objective of his foreign policy. That his re-election coincides with a change of personnel and direction of those who govern China is a significant and important opportunity to bring discussions about nuclear disarmament to the fore. China is currently going through military modernisation, with no clear indication of how this will shape their strategic capability, but we do know that they are delivering and modernising their nuclear arsenal.

“As a nuclear state, the UK has a responsibility to engage with all other nuclear weapon states on multilateral disarmament and the non-proliferation agenda. The challenges of discussing nuclear issues with China are daunting but necessary and I intend for this debate to be an opportunity to hear the Government’s current thinking in this area. I will also be making some proposals which are designed to increase the level of engagement on these important issues with the Chinese.”

Other Members scheduled to speak include:

Lord Prescott (Labour) is also expected to take part in the debate.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (Liberal Democrat) will respond on behalf of the Government.

The debate is open to media and the public. Please allow time for security screening.

The debate will also be broadcast live on Parliament TV.

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