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Washington: We hope to start negotiations with China on arms control

Reuters

The United States and China

A senior US State Department official expressed his country’s hope to begin “soon” arms control negotiations with China, without specifying a time frame for that.

The official added that China is expected to double its arsenal of nuclear warheads in the next few years, while the United States and Russia have made significant reductions in their stockpiles.

And US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan previously said that President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed during an online summit last month to launch arms control negotiations between the two countries.

He added, “I’m optimistic that this will start soon, but I cannot specify the exact date and level of such negotiations.”

“China is building a larger and more diversified nuclear arsenal, as evidenced by the construction of its current weapons depots, as well as the new distribution systems it is developing,” he said. “We believe that China’s nuclear arsenal could double in the next few years.”

Washington has repeatedly urged China to join it and Russia in a new arms control treaty.

Beijing welcomed the new US-Russia dialogue, but Li Song, China’s disarmament ambassador in Geneva, told reporters in October that his country was not interested in “the so-called tripartite arms control and disarmament”.

China asserts that its arsenal is small compared to the arsenals of the United States and Russia, and that it is ready for dialogue, but only on condition that Washington reduce its nuclear stockpile to the level of China’s.

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Li said that China does not seek equality with nuclear powers and that its nuclear capability is for self-defense only.

Source: Reuters