US urges China to join dialogue on nuclear arms

The US government has urged China to join a dialogue on nuclear arms control, expressing concern over Beijing's nuclear ambitions.

The US Defense Department released an annual report on Chinese military developments on Wednesday. The report predicts that China could have a thousand nuclear warheads by 2030.

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told a news conference on Thursday that the report suggests that China is leaving behind its previous nuclear doctrine of limited deterrence.

Price also said a strategic dialogue with Russia to discuss a new framework for nuclear disarmament has been useful. He said it is Washington's intention to engage in an arms control dialogue with China as well.
He stressed that all responsible countries that have nuclear weapons should engage in an arms control dialogue.

A report by a Swedish research institute shows that as of January this year, Russia led the world in the number of nuclear warheads, with 6,255. The report says the United States possessed 5,550 and China had 350.

Washington is concerned that China's nuclear buildup could tip the balance of global nuclear deterrence.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to the Pentagon's report by arguing that China has been limiting the scale of its nuclear power to the minimum level required for national security.