China says it has ‘no intention’ of joining trilateral arms control negotiations with US and Russia

China says it has ‘no intention’ of joining trilateral  arms control negotiations with US and Russia
China says it has ‘no intention’ of joining trilateral arms control negotiations with US and Russia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of China has reiterated that China has no intention of joining the trilateral arms control negotiations with the US and Russia.

During a briefing with the press in Beijing MoFA spokesperson Geng Shuang announced that China’s position on this issue is “clear and understood by Russia and the wider international community”.

“It is worth pointing out that the US, sitting on the largest arsenal of the most advanced nuclear weapons, should earnestly fulfill its special responsibility in nuclear disarmament, respond to Russia’s call to extend the New START, and further cut down its massive nuclear arsenal, thus creating conditions for other nuclear weapon states to join multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations,” said Geng.

Geng pointed out that Beijing’s national defence strategy is defensive in its nature and that has remained unchanged. He added saying that it was reasonable and legitimate to increase input into the national defence sector proportionally as Beijing’s economy keeps growing.

“Such increase does not target or threaten any other country. China’s military expenditure is measured and appropriate, gauged whether by its total amount, by its proportion in GDP and the fiscal revenue, or by military spending per capita,” Geng underlined stressing the fact that the ratio of China’s military spending to GDP has been on the decline, below the 2% standard of NATO countries.

On the other hand, Geng said that the US military budget has been increasing steadily and substantially in recent years.

“It reached 716 billion US dollars in 2019, equaling the sum of the next 10 biggest military spenders behind it and accounting for 3.4% of its GDP. The US government has recently submitted a 705.4 billion US dollars’ worth of military budget request for fiscal year 2021 to the Congress, 28.9 billion US dollars of which will be spent to modernize its nuclear forces,” Geng noted.

“It is the US’ unilateralism and belligerency that pose great obstacle to the international arms control process. The US practice of shifting blames to China is not at all convincing to the world and will not be recognized,” he stressed.

Matteo Natalucci

Matteo Natalucci is a geopolitics expert working as an Editor in London covering all aspects of international affairs and technology. Matteo previously worked for the United Nations, the European Commission, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, IHS Markit, and Global Data. Get in touch with the author: matteo.natalucci@internationalinsider.org