BEIJING: China deeply regrets the United States’ withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, an official said Tuesday, calling for restraint from the United States over intermediate-range missile deployment.
The unilateral move from the United States will inevitably have negative impacts on global strategic stability, peace and security in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the international arms control system, said Fu Cong, director general of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Fu said China is concerned about the U.S. announcement that it will test and deploy land-based intermediate-range missiles, especially the remarks by some senior U.S. officials about deploying the missiles in the Asia-Pacific “sooner rather than later.”
China will not sit by and watch the United States deploy land-based intermediate-range missiles in the region, Fu said, adding that China will be forced to take countermeasures.
He called on relevant countries in the region not to allow the United States to deploy the missiles in their territories, noting that the move is not in their security interests.
Fu added that China has no intention of participating in the nuclear disarmament negotiations between Russia and the United States.
China upholds a foreign policy of peace and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, committing to a nuclear policy of no first use of nuclear weapons, Fu said.
China has continued to use maximum restraint in developing its nuclear capabilities over the past decades, he said, noting that considering the huge gaps between China’s nuclear capabilities and those of the United States and Russia, it is unreasonable and unfair to ask China to participate in nuclear disarmament negotiations at this stage.
Fu described it as a very dangerous move for the United States to withdraw from the INF Treaty, just as its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which has shaken the foundations of the international arms control system. No one shall entertain any illusion about deploying missiles at China’s doorstep, he said.