Trump administration signaled that it wants to bring China into the destructive nuclear arsenals control fold.
“President Donald Trump has made clear that we need improved verification and transparency that covers all nuclear warheads. DOE [Department of Energy] and our laboratories have good options. Russia and China should join in a joint verification experiment,” said Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea.
Additional verification and transparency concepts for trilateral #armscontrol from our nuclear weapons experts @SandiaLabs. We have done this before with Russia. Let’s do it again, and this time with China @FuCong17 pic.twitter.com/9Qhsu1auPz
— Ambassador Marshall S. Billingslea (@USArmsControl) September 9, 2020
“Additional verification and transparency concepts for trilateral arms control from our nuclear weapons experts Sandia National Labs. We have done this before with Russia. Let’s do it again, and this time with China,” added Marshall Billingslea.
As George Perkovich in his recent article in ‘Reinventing Nuclear Arms Control’ stated, “it would alleviate concerns that might otherwise drive China to expand and enhance its nuclear forces in ways that would fuel an arms race in Asia.”
He added that China’s neighbors—especially Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan—would be reassured that they do not need to acquire nuclear weapons of their own to deter or potentially defeat Chinese aggression.
China comes in third globally for the destructive nuclear arsenal count with 320 warheads, followed closely by France which possesses 290, according to the Arms Control Association.
At the same time, Pentagon reported that China plans to double its stockpile of nuclear warheads in the next decade, including ballistic missiles that can reach the United States.