03:13 GMT25 February 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - China will double the size of its nuclear stockpile by the end of this decade, a senior Department of Defense Senior official told reporters on Friday.

    “China is already in the process of expanding the size of its arsenal. They are going to double the size of their nuclear stockpile by the end of this decade,” the official said.

    Speaking at the Atlantic Council last week, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said China had no intention of participating in arms control negotiations, as it was vigorously promoting the modernization of national defence forces. But he said Washington still hopes that serious negotiations on nuclear arms reduction begin with Russia and China in the coming months.

    The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is the last remaining legally binding US-Russian agreement on nuclear arms control. It is due to expire in February 2021 but has the potential to be renewed for another five years.

    Renewing New START is a step which officials in Russia have repeatedly said they were ready to take, but the US administration has said it would prefer a new treaty that includes both Russia and China.

    US, nuclear stockpile, China
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