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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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China, Iran, Russia thrash U.S. over its new nuclear policy

U.S. faced the heat from China, Iran and Russia

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BEIJING, China - After the Pentagon confirmed its plans of diversifying the American nuclear arsenal, which is considered to be the world’s largest - the U.S. faced the heat from China, Iran and Russia. 

In what became the U.S. military’s first update of its nuclear strategy since 2010, the Pentagon released its nuclear arms policy known as the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), only to be faced with much criticism from other world nuclear powers. 

In its new policy, the Pentagon proposed diversifying its nuclear arsenal, by developing new, smaller atomic bombs, aimed at countering Russia.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis saying the changes reflect a need to “look reality in the eye” and “see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.”

Officials in the Trump administration pointed out that while the policy adopted by the Obama administration hinged on what the former President called a moral obligation for the U.S. to lead by example in ridding the world of nuclear weapons - Obama’s approach proved overly idealistic.

The current administration pointed out that in comparison, Russia, China and North Korea advanced their nuclear weapons capabilities instead of following suit.

The U.S. also named China, Russia, North Korea and Iran as potential threats.

Last month, countering the "growing threat from revisionist powers,” such as China and Russia, formed the core of America’s newly announced defense strategy.

On Sunday, after details of Pentagon’s plans were analyzed, China urged the U.S. to drop its "Cold War mentality.”

China's defence ministry said in a statement, "The country that owns the world's largest nuclear arsenal, should take the initiative to follow the trend instead of going against it.”

Soon after the plans were revealed, Russia condemned the plan with the Russian foreign ministry accusing the U.S. of warmongering.

The ministry said it would take "necessary measures" to ensure Russian security.

It said in a statement, “From first reading, the confrontational and anti-Russian character of this document leaps out at you.”

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed "deep disappointment" at the plan.

Meanwhile, Iran's foreign minister claimed the U.S. plan brought the world "closer to annihilation.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif argued the proposals were in violation of the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

China meanwhile "firmly" opposed the Pentagon’s review of U.S. nuclear policy and the defence ministry in Beijing said Washington had played up the threat of China's nuclear threat.

The ministry added that its own policy was defensive in nature.

It said in its statement, “We hope that the United States will abandon its Cold War mentality, earnestly assume its special disarmament responsibilities, correctly understand China's strategic intentions and objectively view China's national defence and military build-up.”

Previously too, China has used the Cold War label to criticize U.S. policy. 

For instance, late last year it denounced Washington's updated defence strategy and urged the U.S. to abandon "outdated notions.”

China’s reaction came in response to America’s accusation that Beijing is "expanding its already considerable nuclear forces.”

China however, defended its policy on Sunday saying it would "resolutely stick to peaceful development and pursue a national defence policy that is defensive in nature.”

 

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