China may use its nuclear arsenal only if attacked-State Council

BEIJING, September 1 (RIA Novosi, Alexei Yefimov) - Officials in Beijing said Thursday that China would never use nuclear weapons against other countries unless attacked.

The White Book on Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, compiled and unveiled by the State Council, China's highest executive body, said the country pursued an independent foreign policy and that it would never seek hegemony or use its nuclear arms for purposes other than self-defense.

The paper emphasized China's vehement opposition to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and delivery vehicles.

It warned of missile defense systems' potential adverse impact on global strategic stability, saying they could undermine global, as well as regional, peace and stability, sow mistrust between the world's superpowers, and aggravate nations' legitimate concerns over their security.

It also strongly condemned attempts by foreign governments to provide Taiwan, regarded by Beijing as a renegade province, with missile defense capabilities, and said this put China's national interests under threat.

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