Moscow: The United States and Russia have been trying to get China to sign the agreement to limit the number of nuclear weapons. The United States indicated this even during the recently concluded G-20 summit. But despite appeals from the United State and Russia, China will not sign the agreement. Analysts and former military officials claimed that China might consider signing the agreement, if the United States and Russia brought down the number of nuclear weapons, in their possession, to the levels of China.
Last week, bilateral talks were held between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, during the G-20 conference, at Osaka in Japan. At this time, discussions were held for a new Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Further, the White House clarified that the United States and Russia would make efforts to get China to sign the agreement. But Marc Finaud, former French diplomat and chief of the Arms Proliferation Group, reminded that China had clarified its position not to participate in the INF treaty.
90% of the world’s nuclear weapons stock is in the hands of the United States and Russia. It is said that the United States holds 6,450 nuclear weapons and Russia holds 6,490 nuclear weapons. China claims to have nearly 300 nuclear weapons. Therefore, China has demanded that the United States and Russia should destroy their nuclear weapons, to bring the numbers, at par with China. But Finaud said that despite this, Chinese participation in the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, cannot be guaranteed.
Finaud said that China is also demanding that the United States and Russia should give up the capabilities of their air defence systems. China is worried that the air defence systems of the United States and Russia, pose a challenge for China. Finaud said while talking to a Russian news agency that therefore, China may consider joining the treaty, if the United States and Russia reduced the capabilities of the air defence systems, along with the reduction in the nuclear weapons numbers.
Joshua Pollock from the US study group ‘Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ and MV Ramana from the Canadian study group ‘Liu Institute of Global Issues’ endorsed the claims made by Finaud. Pollock and Ramana claimed that China would not reduce its nuclear weapon stock, pointing at the weapon stocks held by the United States and Russia.
The United States withdrew from the historic INF treaty with Russia in February this year. US President Donald Trump had accused that while the United States is limiting the number of nuclear weapons in its possession, Russia and China are openly manufacturing nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles. Trump had also lambasted that the new INF treaty was not possible unless China becomes a part of the treaty.