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US renews pressure on China to join nuclear talks

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The United States on Friday renewed pressure on China to join nuclear arms reduction talks with Washington and Moscow in an effort to overcome Beijing’s long-standing opposition to engaging in such dialogue.

“China has long said it will not enter an arms race and is not seeking to equalize the United States and Russia in terms of numbers,” said a senior administration official in President Donald Trump. It is time for China … to prove itself an international party with responsibility.”

The official was one of a number of officials who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

The Chinese nuclear arsenal is dwindling in front of its American and Russian counterparts. But Beijing’s strengthening of its military position in the Asia Pacific region has worried US allies and US policymakers.

Trump is seeking to persuade China to join the United States and Russia in talks on a new arms control agreement to replace the “New Start” treaty between Washington and Moscow that expires in February.

But China rejects this and says its smaller nuclear power is defensive and does not pose a threat.

The treaty obliges the United States and Russia not to deploy more than 1,550 nuclear warheads, the lowest level in decades, and also imposes restrictions on land-launched or submarine missiles as well as bombers carrying those nuclear warheads.

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