China spoke out in favor of nuclear disarmament at a State Department press conference on Thursday, giving a counter-signal to the US assessment of its expanding nuclear programs.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning touched on the issue Thursday after being asked about the steep increase in China’s nuclear arsenal.
“China basically follows a policy of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons. We are committed to the total ban and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and actively participate in arms control talks and communications,” Mao said.
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Mao shifted the focus to the US and suggested that the superpower should take the first steps to reduce the global nuclear arsenal.
“The US, with the world’s most powerful nuclear arsenal, should take the lead in fulfilling its nuclear disarmament commitments,” Mao concluded.
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The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence claimed in its 2023 annual US intelligence community threat assessment that China is strengthening its nuclear capabilities for international leverage in the event of a first strike.
READ THE US INTELLIGENCE 2023 THREAT ASSESSMENT – APP USERS, CLICK HERE:
“China is realigning its nuclear stance for a strategic rivalry with the United States because its leaders have concluded that their current capabilities are inadequate,” the ODNI wrote in its report. “Beijing is concerned that bilateral tensions, US nuclear modernization and the PLA’s advancing conventional capabilities have increased the likelihood of a US first strike.”
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China is reportedly building hundreds of new ICBM silos within its borders.
“Beijing is not interested in deals that restrict its plans and will not agree to negotiations that secure advantages for the US or Russia. Beijing’s increased confidence in its nuclear deterrent is likely to strengthen its resolve and exacerbate conventional conflicts,” the ODNI concluded.
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