Asia/Pacific

National Security Council stresses ‘conversations’ with China, ‘not arms control talks’

The National Security Council (NSC) said Wednesday that the U.S. will aim to have “conservations” with China about arms control rather than “formal talks,” Reuters reported

A day earlier, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed this week to “look to begin to carry forward discussions on strategic stability,” per Reuters. 

Sullivan emphasized the differences between these discussions and those that have gone on between the U.S. and Russia for decades.

“That is far more mature, has a much deeper history to it,” Sullivan said of the dialogue with Russia. “There’s less maturity to that in the U.S.-China relationship, but the two leaders did discuss these issues, and it is now incumbent on us to think about the most productive way to carry it forward.”

“These are not arms control talks but rather conversations with empowered interlocuters,” an NSC spokesperson said of the discussions between the U.S. and China in a statement. 

These remarks come amid increasing U.S. concerns about China’s growing arsenal of missiles and nuclear weapons, according to Reuters. The U.S. has pushed China on more than one occasion to sign on to its most recent nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.

China has responded by pointing out that its own arsenal is much smaller than those amassed by the U.S. and Russia but says it is prepared to start a bilateral dialogue on strategic security “on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” per Reuters.

Tags China Jake Sullivan Joe Biden National Security Council Russia U.S.-China relations

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