China is ready to join the trilateral disarmament talks with the United States and Russia if the United States agrees to reduce its nuclear arsenal to the level of China itself, director of the arms control department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Phu Tsun said on Wednesday.
“The United States has not yet been told to us what they want from our participation in the negotiations: that we increase our nuclear arsenal to the level of the United States or that the United States is ready to reduce our arsenal to the level of China,” Fu Tsun told reporters.
According to him, if the United States agrees to reduce its nuclear arsenal to the level of China, then it will join the talks the next day, RIA Novosti reports.
In May, US President’s Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingsley said Washington was unlikely to extend the strategic offensive arms reduction treaty (START-3) until China joined in the negotiations. According to him, if China wants to be a great power, it should behave accordingly and join the negotiations.
Earlier, the USA on its own initiative withdrew from the ABM Treaty with Russia and from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, so START-3 remained the only strategic agreement between the two countries.
The US administration at various levels emphasizes the need to include China in negotiations to develop a new tripartite agreement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that Russia favors the extension of the agreement without preconditions.
In April, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the United States did not comply with the strategic offensive arms reduction treaty. From February 2018 to the present, the US nuclear arsenal is 101 carriers beyond the established framework.