China’s Nuclear Force Expansion to Lead to Tri-Party Nuclear World, US Air Force Chief Says

© AP Photo / Zha Chunming/XinhuaIn this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, military vehicles carrying missiles for both nuclear and conventional strikes are driven past the VIP stage during a military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army at Zhurihe training base in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Sunday, July 30, 2017
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, military vehicles carrying missiles for both nuclear and conventional strikes are driven past the VIP stage during a military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army at Zhurihe training base in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Sunday, July 30, 2017 - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.04.2022
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COLORADO SPRINGS (Sputnik) - The growth of China’s nuclear force will result in a tri-party nuclear world within a period of several years, US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said during the Space Symposium.
“The biggest concerns I think are two-fold. … One is the threat of use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia. The other is the revelation of Chinese expansion of their nuclear force which will put the Chinese on the level of roughly equivalent in a few years to the United States and Russia,” Kendall said on Tuesday.
“That's going to a bring us into a three party or tri-party nuclear world with great powers that we have never had before and I think we're just getting into that and we're just starting to think about what that means.”
In December, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin accused China of rapidly building up its nuclear arsenal, claiming that Beijing intends to raise the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 by 2030.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the following months that the US government’s statements on China concerning its nuclear arsenal are not true. The Foreign Ministry highlighted that China adheres to the "no first use of nuclear weapons" principle and keeps its nuclear weapons at the minimum level required to safeguard national security.
The Foreign Ministry pointed out that a rapid or significant increase in a number of nuclear warheads goes against China's policy. However, it also noted that this does not mean China is not modernizing its current arsenal, but the modernization is proceeding in accordance with Beijing's interest in ensuring the reliability of its arsenal in order to maintain security and strategic deterrence.
Pershing II missiles  - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.01.2022
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Kendall said the United States is trying to bring China to the negotiation table to agree to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (new START). The United States believes that China increasing its nuclear arsenal would make it one of the largest in the world, with deterrence becoming more difficult, he added.
Under the New START treaty, Russia and the United States negotiated a limit of 1,550 offensive nuclear warheads each.
Russia has said that it has no intention of forcing China to participate in nuclear talks and Beijing should itself decide whether these talks are beneficial for the country.
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