China has no interest in trilateral arms control negotiations with US, Russia
China has repeatedly reiterated that it has no intention of participating in the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations with the United States and Russia, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday.
The US and Russia have agreed to start arms control talks this month as the only remaining treaty between the two largest nuclear powers is poised to expire in less than a year, Marshall Billingslea, US President Donald Trump’s special envoy for arms control, said on Monday.
Russia has offered to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which expires in February, but Trump wants to see a three-way nuclear arms treaty that includes China. Billingslea wrote on Twitter that China has been invited to the talk.
“We have noted that the US has repeatedly mentioned China on extending New START, which is a consistent tactic to remove itself from responsibility,” Hua said.
New START imposes limits on the number of US and Russian long-range nuclear warheads and launchers. If it were to collapse, it would be the first time in 50 years that the US does not have the ability to inspect Russian nuclear forces, said Rose Gottemoeller, a former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. A senior administration official said the talks would begin June 22.
Hua added that the US has withdrawn from many treaties over the past few years, including the Iran nuclear deal. “It is very absurd and unreal to hear the officials of such a country talk about negotiations in good faith,” she said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday that Moscow respects Beijing’s “well-known position” of not participating in any Russia-US-China trilateral arms control negotiations.