The Associated Press
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to join international efforts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons amid concerns that the Chinese regime is rapidly developing missiles capable of carrying atomic warheads.
Laying out his priorities for nuclear disarmament at NATO’s annual arms control conference in early September 2021, Stoltenberg said that more countries must be included in missile restriction talks, not just Russia.
“As a global power, China has global responsibilities in arms control. And Beijing, too, would benefit from mutual limits on numbers, increased transparency and more predictability,” Stoltenberg, pictured, said. “These are the foundations for international stability.”
He warned that Beijing’s nuclear arsenal is rapidly expanding. “China is building a large number of missile silos, which can significantly increase its nuclear capability. All of this is happening without any limitation or constraint. And with a complete lack of transparency.”
In 2019, the United States pulled out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, blaming Russia for violating the bilateral pact. It was the first arms control measure to ban an entire class of weapons: ground-launched cruise missiles with a range of 500 kilometers to 5,000 kilometers. Russia denies that it broke the rules.
As the pact fell apart, the PRC continued to build such weapons, and it has shown little inclination to join arms proliferation talks.
Stoltenberg welcomed the agreement between the U.S. and Russia to extend for another five years the New START treaty limiting their strategic nuclear weapons. He said more types of arms should be added to nonproliferation talks, including new technologies such as artificial intelligence.
IMAGE CREDIT: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS