China says it won’t join nuclear talks until the US reduces its arsenal
China would be “happy” to join trilateral nuclear arms control talks with the United States and Russia, on the condition that Washington significantly reduces its arsenal to match China’s own level, a senior Chinese diplomat said Wednesday, CNN reports.
The Chinese military currently has far fewer nuclear weapons than either the US or Russia, both of which have at least 5,000 nuclear warheads each.
In comparison, it is estimated that China only has about 320, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), meaning the US would be required to eliminate more than 4,500 warheads from its arsenal to match Beijing.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for China to join nuclear arms control negotiations between the US and Russia, but Beijing has said it is out of the question while its nuclear arsenal is still comparatively small.
“I can assure you that if the US says that they are ready to come down to the Chinese level (of nuclear weapons), China will be happy to participate the next day. But actually we know that’s not going to happen,” Fu Cong, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s arms control department, said at a press briefing in Beijing Wednesday.