U.S. renews pressure on China to join nuclear talks

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The United States on Friday renewed pressure on China to join nuclear arms control talks with Washington and Moscow, seeking to overcome Beijing's long-standing opposition to entering such a dialogue. "China has long said it will never enter into an arms race and does not seek numeric parity with the U.S and Russia. Now is the time for China to put its money where its mouth is, and prove that it is a responsible international actor," said a senior administration official.

The official was one of several who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

The nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia dwarf that of China. But Beijing's military buildup in the Asia-Pacific region has alarmed U.S. allies and policymakers.

President Donald has sought to entice China into joining the United States and Russia in talks on an arms control accord to replace the 2010 New START treaty between Washington and Moscow that expires next February.

China has rejected 's proposal, arguing that its smaller nuclear force is defensive and poses no threat.

"Continued silence from China creates uncertainty about their intentions and only brings about the need for a renewed focus on deterrence and military readiness for the United States," said one administration official.

New START maintains the only remaining limits on U.S. and Russian nuclear deployments. Some experts and lawmakers have called 's proposal to include Beijing in a new treaty a "poison pill" strategy aimed at killing New START and ending the restraints on U.S. deployments.

New START restricted the United States and Russia to deploying no more than 1,550 nuclear warheads, the lowest level in decades, and limited the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers that deliver them.

sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more

It can be renewed for up to five years if both sides agree. Moscow has offered to immediately extend the treaty. Washington has yet to decide.

Story continues

"On New START, we have made no decision on a possible extension as we are focused on addressing a broader range of threats beyond just the weapons subject to the treaty," said an official.

China is estimated to have about 300 nuclear weapons.

The official said China, "as a major military power," also has major responsibilities.

"You cannot ask for global status without assuming global responsibilities for world order and this is why we believe it is high time for China to participate in arms control alongside the United States," the official said. (Reporting by Steve Holland, additional reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by Tom Brown)

sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more

all right reserved for yahoo news

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV us news Stocks making the biggest moves midday: E-Trade, Virgin Galactic, Zillow, ...
NEXT Former Belgian-Nicaraguan political prisoner calls for probe into Ortega government