mandag 13. juli 2020

China dismisses US outreach on arms control talks saying it has 'no interest'

China issued a stinging response to a US statement Thursday that welcomed Beijing's willingness to engage in arms control talks. Beijing has "no interest" in any such negotiations, a statement by Chinese embassy in Washington said.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Thursday in a statement that the United States "welcomes China's commitment to engage in arms control negotiations," a day after a senior Chinese diplomat said Beijing would be happy to join talks if the US agreed to lower its number of nuclear weapons to match China's. "I can assure you that if the US says that they are ready to come down to the Chinese level (of nuclear weapons), China will be happy to participate the next day. But actually, we know that's not going to happen," Fu Cong, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's arms control department, said at a press briefing in Beijing Wednesday.

Fu was referring to the Trump administration's ongoing attempts to renegotiate the New START Treaty -- the last remaining nuclear arms control pact -- and the US insistence that any renewed treaty should include China.