Expecting China to join U.S.-Russia nuclear arms talks "unrealistic": official

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-08 21:43:18|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- It is unrealistic to expect China to join U.S.-Russia negotiations on nuclear arms reduction, given the huge gap between Chinese and U.S. nuclear arsenals in terms of quantity and sophistication, a Chinese arms control official said Wednesday.

Fu Cong, director-general of the arms control department of the Chinese foreign ministry, made the remarks here at a press briefing on international arms control and disarmament.

Fu said the United States has been making a lot of noises about China joining the so-called trilateral negotiations.

"Hyping up the China factor is nothing but a ploy to divert world attention, and to create a pretext under which the United States could walk away from the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)," he said.

China's refusal to join the so-called trilateral negotiations doesn't mean that China is shying away from international nuclear disarmament efforts, Fu said, adding China is a strong advocate for nuclear disarmament in the United Nations and at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

"China initiated the dialogue on nuclear doctrines among the P5, and proposed that the P5 reiterate jointly the formula of 'nuclear war cannot be won, and must never be fought'," Fu said, adding that unfortunately, the United States has refused to recommit itself to this basic truism.

China stands ready to discuss all issues related to strategic stability and nuclear risk reduction in the framework of P5, i.e. among China, Russia, the U.S., the UK and France, he said.

"We urge the United States to respond positively to Russia's call to extend the New START, and on that basis, to further reduce its huge nuclear arsenal," Fu said, quoting figures from renowned international think tanks showing that the number of U.S. nuclear warheads is almost 20 times that of China.

Concerning China's accession to the Arms Trade Treaty, Fu said the move is further testimony to China's determination to combat illicit arms trafficking and its commitment to multilateralism and the international arms control regime, representing another concrete step toward implementing the grand vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity.

When referring to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the official said the United States has single-handedly blocked the restarting of negotiations on a verification protocol, and more and more questions are being asked about the true nature of the activities conducted in some of the U.S. biological laboratories.

"We urge the United States to demonstrate more transparency and heed the appeals of the international community in not continuing to block the restarting of the protocol negotiations," Fu added. Enditem