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China firmly opposes US Nuclear Posture Review

Ren Guoqiang

Beijing, Feb 4 (UITV/IANS) - China firmly opposes the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) published by the US Department of Defence, a spokesman from China's National Defence Ministry said on Sunday.

The US document presumptuously speculated about the intentions behind China's development and played up the threat of China's nuclear strength, spokesman Ren Guoqiang said, Xinhua reported.

The 74-page report cast China as "a major challenge to US interests in Asia", saying the US strategy for China is designed to "prevent Beijing from mistakenly concluding that it could secure an advantage through the limited use of its theater nuclear capabilities or that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is acceptable."

Ren reaffirmed that China will resolutely stick to peaceful development and pursue a national defence policy that is defensive in nature.

China has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances. Under no circumstances will China use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, he said.

China has always exercised the utmost restraint in the development of nuclear weapons and limited its nuclear capabilities to the minimum level required for national security, he added.

The US, which possesses the world's largest nuclear weapons arsenal, should conform to the irreversible world trend of peace and development rather than run in the opposite direction, Ren said.

"We hope the US side will discard its 'cold-war mentality', shoulder its own special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament, understand correctly China's strategic intentions and take a fair view on China's national defence and military development," he said.

He urged the US side to meet China halfway to make military relations between the two sides a stable factor in bilateral relations, and jointly safeguard global peace, stability and prosperity.