China committed to arms control talks — U.S.
The United States on Thursday said China was committed to engage in arms control negotiations, inviting Beijing to the table.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Ms Morgan Ortagus, the Department of State said “prudent next steps will need to include face-to-face meetings between the U.S and China”.
China has always spurned invitation to a trilateral arms control discussion with the U.S. and Russia.
But on Wednesday, a senior Chinese diplomat reportedly gave conditions for his country to engage in the discussion.
Media reports quoted Fu Cong, head of the Arms Control Department of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as saying Washington must significantly reduce its arsenal to China’s level.
China currently has 320 unclear warheads, according to CNN, citing the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
But the U.S. and Russia both have no fewer than 5,000 nuclear warheads each, according to the report.
The administration of President Donald Trump alleges that Chinese military is quickly expanding its arsenal military without transparency.
Ortagus said the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control, Amb. Marshall Billingslea, would invite the Chinese government to “join in good faith negotiations in Vienna, Austria”.
“The U.S. also recommends that China meet with Russia at an early date to consider next steps for trilateral arms control negotiations.
“We will all bring different perspectives and objectives to the negotiating table and will surely have disagreements.
“But it is time for dialogue and diplomacy between the three biggest nuclear weapons powers on how to prevent a new arms race,” she added.