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China Slams US 'Cold War Mentality' Amid Nuclear Policy Shift
05 February 2018, 02:57 | Bernice Figueroa
Chinese MoD Calls US Assumptions About Country's Nuclear Development Absurd
As the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to unveil its review of the U.S. nuclear posture, more experts are warning that developing a new type of nuclear weapon to meet President Donald Trump's demands would trigger an arms race.
But Beijing dismissed the review as "presumptuous speculation", saying China had strictly followed a "no first use" policy - meaning it would not use nuclear weapons unless it was attacked with them - and had been "always extremely restrained" in its nuclear weapons development.
On Twitter, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also lashed out.
"America confronts an worldwide security situation that is more complex and demanding than any since the end of the Cold War", wrote Mattis.
A leaked version of the review, which the Pentagon is set to release soon, shows that military officials in Washington are calling for the development of a low-yield nuclear bomb that is created to be used on the battlefield instead of urban areas.
Land-based ballistic missiles, submarine-launched missiles, and air-delivered weapons - to be extensively modernised, as begun under ex-President Obama. Modifying some submarine-launched nuclear warheads to give a lower-yield detonation. Bringing back sea-based nuclear missiles.
Countering the "growing threat from revisionist powers", such as China and Russian Federation, was at the heart of America's new defence strategy announced last month.
The report makes "wild guesses" about China's intentions and exaggerates the threat of its nuclear force, defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said in a statement.
China also said that the US already has the world's largest nuclear arsenal and should instead look to reduce its number of weapons.
Daryl Kimball, the head of the Arms Control Association advocacy group in Washington, said that the development of new weapons in the US nuclear arsenal was "dangerous, Cold War thinking".
Historically a close U.S. ally and key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, nuclear weapons were a divisive issue in Germany's Cold War politics. Late previous year it denounced Washington's updated defence strategy and urged the USA to abandon "outdated notions".
In the NPR document, the USA accused China of "expanding its already considerable nuclear forces" but China defended its policy on Sunday saying it would "resolutely stick to peaceful development and pursue a national defence policy that is defensive in nature". In his first state-of-the-union address on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump referred to China and Russian Federation as rivals that challenged US interests, its economy and values, and called for Congress to "fully fund our great military".
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