China opposes new United States nuclear strategy

Posted February 05, 2018

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.

The review clarifies the USA will use nuclear weapons only in "extreme circumstances", but those circumstances could include "significant non-nuclear strategic attacks".

America's flawed political leadership and planned expansion of nuclear weapons will lead to a major conflict with Russian Federation and China, says a former US foreign policy adviser and diplomat.

Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said the USA should "correctly understand China's strategic intent and see China's national defence and military build-up in an objective way", China's state news agency Xinhua reports.

China accused the United States of "presumptuous speculation" about China's intentions, and said it has always adopted a restrained attitude towards the development of nuclear weapons and kept its nuclear forces to a minimum.

The US nuclear review comes at a time of increasing tension between Washington and Beijing.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed "deep disappointment" at the plan. The threat from North Korea and the uncertainty surrounding Iran are also major driving factors mentioned by the NPR.

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters Friday that the changes provide a "deterrent that is modern and credible".

Low-yield nuclear weapons, while still devastating, have a strength of less than 20 kilotons.

It calls for a "lower-yield" options for ballistic and cruise missiles launched at sea.

China said that it is "firmly opposed" to the NPR published by the US Department of Defence.

"We hope that the United States will abandon its Cold War mentality, earnestly assume its special disarmament responsibilities, correctly understand China's strategic intentions and objectively view China's national defence and military build-up", the ministry said in the statement posted on its website. The 74-page report, the Pentagon's first since 2010, cast China as "a major challenge to United States interests in Asia". Past year it said that Washington's defense strategy tied to "outdated notions".

The Donald Trump administration said that it will continue to develop its nuclear arms policy and will adopt a stronger stance with Russian Federation, which it threatened with the high costs of launching a limited atomic attack on Europe.