Published: Mon, February 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

China Rejects US Revision of Nuclear Strategy

China Rejects US Revision of Nuclear Strategy

China's Defence Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said in a statement in Beijing on Sunday that the report exaggerates the threat of China's nuclear force.

Washington also considered China a possible nuclear adversary and noted that the USA arsenal is created to "prevent Beijing from mistakenly concluding" that it can take advantage if it uses its atomic weapons in Asia, or that "the use of nuclear weapons on a limited scale is acceptable". John Rood, Undersecretary of Defence for Policy, said: "There is no automaticity to this policy", when asked how the U.S. would manage responses to cases of "extreme circumstances".

The German response to the U.S. nuclear review comes on the heels of condemnations from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

The policy also recommends: Land-based ballistic missiles, submarine-launched missiles, and air-delivered weapons-to be extensively modernized, as begun under ex-President Obama.

Return of sea-based nuclear cruise missiles.

The comprehensive report, which is largely in line with the 2010 review done by the Obama administration, reaffirms commitments to non-proliferation treaties but emphasizes the need to enhance capabilities to match with Russian Federation, showing supports for US nuclear modernization projects.

Proposed modification of some submarine-launched nuclear warheads to give a lower-yield or less powerful detonation.

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The NPR states that both China and Russian Federation have "added new types of nuclear capabilities to their arsenals, increased the salience of nuclear forces in their strategies and plans, and engaged in increasingly aggressive behaviours, including in outer space and cyberspace".

"Peace and development are irreversible trends of the world and as the country with the largest nuclear arsenal, the USA should follow instead of going against this trend", Ren said in the statement.

The Chinese government has criticized a Pentagon document known as the "Nuclear Posture Review", which outlines the strategy to expand USA nuclear capacity and identifies China - along with Russia, Iran and North Korea - as potential nuclear adversaries.

China has used the cold war label before to criticise United States policy.

Russia's foreign minister called the move "confrontational" and expressed "deep disappointment".

China will resolutely stick to peaceful development and pursue a national defence policy that is defencive in nature, Ren said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif argued the proposals were in violation of the global nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

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