Fu Cong, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s arms control department, in Beijing, July 8, 2020. © Reuters / Shubing Wang
China would "be happy to” participate in arms control negotiations with the United States and Russia, but only if the US were willing to reduce its nuclear arsenal to Beijing’s level, a senior Chinese diplomat has said.
Washington has called for China to join in trilateral negotiations to extend New START, a nuclear arms treaty between the US and Russia that is due to expire in February next year.
Fu Cong, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s arms control department, reiterated in Beijing on Wednesday that China has no interest in joining the talks, given that the US nuclear arsenal is about 20 times the size of China’s, Reuters reported.
"I can assure you, if the US says that they are ready to come down to the Chinese level, China would be happy to participate the next day,” he said. "But actually, we know that’s not going to happen.”