Beijing will not discuss a nuclear weapons treaty but welcomes arms control talks between the US and Russia, China’s Foreign Ministry said, pouring cold water on Donald Trump’s claim that Beijing was open to negotiations.
Washington hopes to begin drafting a nuclear weapons treaty with Moscow at a meeting in Geneva on Wednesday. China, however, will not take part in the summit, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
“At the moment, we see no reason or preconditions for China’s participation in such discussions,” he said at a press briefing on Tuesday. He stated that “Russia has also repeatedly expressed its understanding regarding China’s position on this issue.”
China fully supports any talks on the issue, but believes the world’s two leading nuclear powers should take the lead in non-proliferation negotiations, Geng added.
The announcement will likely deflate Washington’s stated goal of inking a trilateral accord that includes Beijing. US President Donald Trump tweeted in December that he was “certain” he would discuss arms control with his Russian and Chinese counterparts “at some time in the future.”
In May, Trump claimed that Beijing “would very much like to be part” of a three-way deal with the US and Russia, going so far as to say that the Chinese were “more excited about it than [about] trade.”
Former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT in April that it seemed unlikely that China would agree to talks, given Washington’s record for tearing up past agreements, such as the Iran nuclear deal and the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty.
“The US is not agreement capable,” he said. “Any agreement we make is simply not going to be honored by the US side.”
- Published in World