China opposes US withdrawal from nuclear arms treaty with Russia, calls for negotiation

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Beijing says pact is of ‘great significance … in enhancing international and regional peace’ and urges Washington and Moscow to ‘properly deal with disputes through constructive dialogue’

“As an important bilateral treaty in the fields of arms control and disarmament, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty is of great significance in easing relations between powers, in enhancing international and regional peace and in safeguarding global strategic balance and stability,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.

“China opposes the US withdrawal and urges the US and Russia to properly deal with disputes through constructive dialogue,” he said.

US President Donald Trump confirmed on Friday that the US would leave the 1987 treaty with Russia, which bans ground-launched cruise missiles with a range between 500km (310 miles) and 5,000km (3,100 miles), raising fears of a new nuclear arms race with Moscow.

US President Donald Trump confirmed on Friday that the United States would pull out of the arms control treaty with Russia. Photo: Reuters
The Trump administration has accused Moscow of violating the pact since 2014 – a claim Russia denies – saying that had put the US at a military disadvantage to China, which is not bound by the treaty.

US officials have also suggested they could seek to expand the agreement to more countries – including China, India, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea – but Geng said Beijing was against the idea.

“It would involve a series of complicated political, military and legal issues to make the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty multilateral, and many countries remain concerned about this,” he said.

“A higher priority is to maintain and fully implement the existing treaty rather than establishing a new one,” Geng added.

The cold war INF nuclear treaty is dead, killed by rise of China and Trump. A global arms race is next
Washington’s decision to pull out of the missile pact comes at a time of intense rivalry between China and the United States over trade, technology and security that has ignited fears of a new cold war between the world’s two largest economies.

Chinese analysts have warned that Beijing was at risk of being drawn into a long-term strategic battle with the US, which is expected to push forward a new round of military development.

But critics said Washington’s withdrawal from the arms control treaty could also be used by Beijing to justify its military build-up in the contested South China Sea, which is seen as a potential flashpoint for conflict between China and the US and its Pacific allies.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/2184817/china-opposes-us-withdrawal-nuclear-arms-treaty-russia-calls

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