China will not engage in any trilateral talks on nuclear reduction

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang has reaffirmed that China will not participate in any trilateral talks about a deal on nuclear arms reduction, and reiterated the defensive nature of China’s military policy.

He made the comments during a regular press briefing on Thursday, reacting to a question concerning U.S. State Department Undersecretary Andrea Thompson’s recent remarks about bringing China into a negotiation with Russia and the U.S. about a treaty that would restrict the three parties’ development of nuclear weapons.

Thompson also told lawmakers on Wednesday that China is rapidly modernizing and expanding its nuclear arsenal.

In response to the accusation, Lu said China is determined to follow a path of peaceful development and enshrines a defensive military policy.

China’s expenditure on its defense is moderate and reasonable, Lu noted, adding that its nuclear power has always been maintained at a minimum level for national security, which is not on par with the level of the U.S. or Russia.

The spokesperson also urged the United States to faithfully fulfill its own responsibility to further decrease nuclear arms, and extend the bilateral arms control treaty with Russia.

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) between the U.S. and Russia, which came into effect in 2011, is set to expire in February 2021. Thompson has told U.S. lawmakers that the decision about extending the New START has not been made.

Also at Thursday’s press briefing, Lu touched upon the issue of transparency of China’s military, stressing that China has always adhered to its promise of not using nuclear arms first or using them against non-nuclear countries, calling that the most meaningful transparency and biggest contribution to the international community.

He also emphasized that China is committed to moving forward dialogues on nuclear strategies and policies, which he said was a consensus reached at the conference for the five nuclear-weapon states that was held in January this year in Beijing.