BEIJING, July 10. /TASS/. The US attempts to involve China in the trilateral talks on the reduction of nuclear weapons is a political hoax by Washington. As Zhao Lijian, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s official representative, said on Friday at a briefing, the US should accept the Russian proposal and extend the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty).
"The position of China is rather clear. We are against the so-called trilateral talks on the strategic arms reduction. The US is well aware of it," he pointed out. "Yet the American side continues to admonish us and even to distort our position. This goes to demonstrate that the so-called trilateral talks proposed by the US are neither serious, nor sincere. It is rather a political hoax," the diplomat stressed.
"The international community sees it clearly. The US can fool no one. We are urging the US to respond to Russian appeal to renew the New START Treaty and on that basis continue the further reduction of its large nuclear arsenal in order to create conditions for other nuclear powers to take part in the nuclear disarmament talks," he added.
On July 8, Head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of Arms Control Fu Cong stated that China is ready to join the disarmament talks only if the US reduces its arsenal to match that of China. He also reiterated that "the number of nuclear warheads possessed by the US 20 times exceeds China’s nuclear arsenal."
According to the statistics of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and the Federation of American Scientists, currently the US has about 5,800 nuclear warheads.
The New START Treaty was signed by Russia and the US in 2010. It remains in effect for 10 years (until February 5, 2021) unless a new document is signed to replace it. The document can be extended for no more than five years, that is, until 2026, by mutual agreement of the parties. Moscow urges Washington not to postpone the decision on the extension of the Treaty, characterizing it as a gold standard in the disarmament sphere.