China not to join so-called China-US-Russia arms control negotiations: MFA

An illustration courtesy of the US Air Force shows the X-51A Waverider set to demonstrate hypersonic flight, powered by a scramjet engine. US officials are aware of a new generation of missile threats. Photo: AFP/US Air Force. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BEIJING, Jun 11, 2020, Xinhua. China on Thursday reiterated that it has no intention to join the so-called China-U.S.-Russia trilateral arms control negotiations, and this position is “clear and consistent,” Xinhua reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks at a news briefing when responding to comments from U.S. Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea who on Tuesday called on China to “reconsider” its decision on not joining the negotiations.

“As is known to all, China’s nuclear power is not on the same order of magnitude as that of the United States and Russia. It is not yet the right timing for China to participate in nuclear disarmament talks,” Hua said, adding that owners of the largest nuclear arsenals have special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament.

Considering the current circumstances, the United States should respond positively to Russia’s call on extending the New START Treaty and further drastically reduce its nuclear arms stockpile, creating conditions for other nuclear-weapon states to join in multilateral nuclear disarmament talks, Hua said.

“Not participating in trilateral talks does not mean China will be absent in the global efforts on nuclear disarmament,” Hua said, noting that China has been actively calling on the Conference on Disarmament and the P5 mechanism for substantive steps to reduce risks of a nuclear war and uphold global strategic stability.

“It is the United States who has been obstructing these efforts and walking further down the wrong path of being a quitter,” she said.

Hua said the United States time and again drags China into the New START extension issue between the United States and Russia.

“It is the same old trick whenever it seeks to shift responsibility to others,” Hua said, adding that clear-eyed people, including leading U.S. experts on arms control, have already seen through this trick.

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