China says has no plans to join US-Russia arms control talks
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 09 June 2020 5:38 PM
China says it has no plans to participate in negotiations on arms control with Russia and the United States, after being invited by Washington to take part in the talks, to be held later this month.
"We have repeatedly clarified our position. China does not intend to participate in the so-called trilateral talks on arms control with Russia and the US," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Her comments came a day after US Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea tweeted that China had also been invited to the talks. "Will China show and negotiate in good faith?" he wrote.
The Chinese spokeswoman said the US was attempting to get Beijing to participate in the talks even though Washington itself had been unilaterally withdrawing from arms control treaties.
"In recent years, the United States has withdrawn from a number of international agreements, including the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Arms Trade Treaty, and the Treaty on Open Skies, and now it is considering the possibility of resuming nuclear testing," Hua said.
She said it was "absurd" to hear an American official "speak about good faith."
Billingslea had further said on Twitter that he had reached an agreement with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov about the time and place of the talks. In a report on Monday, Bloomberg, citing an unnamed US State Department official, reported that the talks would be held in Vienna on June 22.
China has said it will not participate in the US-Russia talks but has said it will take part in international nuclear disarmament efforts.
The upcoming arms control talks are meant to pave the way for a new accord between the US and Russia to replace the 2010 New START treaty between the two sides that expires next February.
The New START can be extended for another five years, beyond its expiry date in February 2021, by mutual agreement.
Bloomberg, citing the unnamed US State Department official, said that the US might be willing to extend the New START if "Russia commits to three-way arms control with China and helps to bring a resistant Beijing to the table."
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