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

July 9, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

China issued a stinging response to a US statement Thursday that welcomed Beijing's willingness to engage in arms control talks.

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.

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.

But a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington said China "has no interest in joining Russia and the US in their bilateral negotiations" and pointed to a recent news briefing in which Fu assailed US policies.

In remarks to the press in June, Fu had noted that "US officials have recently been making a lot of noises about China joining the US-Russia negotiation on nuclear arms reduction.

The Chinese official said that given "the huge gap" between China's nuclear arsenal and that of the US and Russia, "it is unrealistic" to expect China to join the negotiations.

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