Beijing [China], May 15 (Sputnik/ANI): China does not intend to partake in any trilateral nuclear arms control talks with the United States and Russia, despite Washington's constant requests, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday.
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump said that he would propose a new trilateral arms control initiative with Russia and China to help avoid a costly arms race. The announcement came amid debates on the future of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) - the last remaining arms control treaty in force between Russia and the United States. The treaty expires in February 2021 and the United States has so far not committed to extending the accord, signaling it favors an amended arms control regime that would also include China.
"The new START treaty remains the only important document in the field of nuclear weapons between Russia and the US and attracts a lot of attention ... China has no intention to join any trilateral arms control talks," Zhao said at a daily briefing.
According to the diplomat, Russia and the United State possess the largest nuclear arsenals, and therefore must fulfill their obligations to significantly reduce them in order to create conditions for other countries to join the multilateral nuclear arms control treaties.
Russia has repeatedly invited Washington to prolong the New START for another five years without preconditions. However, Trump administration officials have signaled that they favor negotiating an amended arms control regime that would also include China, and possibly the United Kingdom and France. (Sputnik/ANI)