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Is a New Cold War on the Rise?

Daniel Kim Views  

The United States and China are currently engaged in a power struggle as both countries clash over the expansion of nuclear weapons. After the U.S. expressed concerns over the growth of nuclear weapons in North Korea, China, and Russia, China responded by stating, “The country that needs to reduce and reflect on its nuclear weapons is the U.S.”

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on the 10th, China stated through the Russian state-owned TASS news agency, “The U.S. should reflect on its actions related to nuclear issues and commit to implementing the right policies.”

China added, “The U.S. possesses the most advanced nuclear weapons in the world. They should rethink its actions, commit to doing the right thing, reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its own and collective security policies, and act responsibly for global welfare.”

The SCMP reported China’s remarks without citing specific sources in response to recent statements made by Senior Advisor for Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation at the National Security Council (NSC) Pranay Vaddi and National Security Advisor to the White House Jake Sullivan. Vaddi claimed at the Arms Control Association (ACA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on the 7th that China, along with Russia and North Korea, is “expanding nuclear weapons at an incredible speed and shows little or no interest in arms control,” arguing that the U.S. should increase its nuclear weapons to counter the nuclear threats from these three countries. On the 9th, Sullivan also expressed concerns about the increasing number of nuclear arsenals in countries such as North Korea, China, and Russia.

Lu Xiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that Vaddi’s statement contradicts his remarks at last year’s ACA annual meeting where he said, “The U.S. does not need to increase its nuclear power more than the current total.” He warned that such statements could cause some countries to prepare nuclear warheads and increase the risk to the world.

The Chinese embassy in the U.S. also emphasized that “China maintains its nuclear capability at the minimum level necessary for national security and will not participate in any form of arms race. If the U.S. does not use nuclear weapons against China, there is no need to feel threatened by China’s nuclear weapons.”

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. and Russia currently possess 3,708 and 4,489 nuclear warheads, respectively. Both countries have agreed to reduce the number of nuclear warheads to 1,550 each by February 2026. China has not disclosed the size of its nuclear weapons, but it is estimated by the U.S. and others to have about 500. North Korea is believed to have about 50.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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