China urged the US to negotiate with Russia instead of pulling out of a nuclear arms treaty, which Washington sees as a limitation on its ability to compete with China and Russia. China’s foreign ministry ruled out negotiating a new multilateral pact to replace the Intermediate-Range Nuclear forces treaty.
“The US decision to pull out of the INF might trigger adverse consequences”, said a ministry statement echoing warnings that the move might lead to a new arms race. President Donald Trump not only blames Moscow of violating the 1987 agreement but also sees it as an obstacle to face China’s growing military capabilities.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Beijing has the fourth largest nuclear arsenal with about 280 warheads, compared with 6, 450 for the United States and 6, 850 for Russia. China has been spending massively to develop longer-range ballistic and cruise missiles.
“China is opposed to the US withdrawal and urges the US and Russia to properly resolve differences through constructive dialogue,” said a foreign ministry statement. The treaty plays a “significant role” in “safeguarding global strategic balance,” the ministry added.
The government said, however, that it opposed possible efforts to create a new agreement to extend to other countries.
“China opposes the multilateralization of this treaty,” the statement said. “What imperative at the moment is to uphold and implement the existing treaty instead of creating a new one.”
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