China Conditions Nuclear Talks on Drastic US Stockpile Reductions

Says US would need to come down to China's level for arsenal

China confirmed on Wednesday that they would be happy to join trilateral nuclear arms limitation talks with the US and Russia, but would only do so if the US drastically cut its nuclear stockpile to be in line with China’s.

The existing New START is set to expire, and the US has held up talks with Russia on extending it by demanding China also be included. China’s arsenal is so much smaller, however, that few see any obvious need, and view it as a US ploy to delay things.

The US and Russia each have around 6,000 nuclear warheads. China, by contrast, has only about 320. This makes China virtually immaterial in global arms limitations, nor could any mutual cuts make a dent in the US arsenal.

US officials have yet to say why they want China involved in the talks, but it’s clear they won’t agree to the cuts China is talking about.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.