China wants 'drastic' US, Russia nuclear arms cuts

By REUTERS
April 30, 2012 15:56

 
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VIENNA - China called on the United States and Russia on Monday to make further "drastic" cuts in their nuclear arsenals and said all states with atomic arms should undertake not to be the first to use them.

The development of missile defense systems which "disrupt" the global strategic balance should be abandoned, a senior Chinese diplomat also told a nuclear meeting in Vienna in a possible reference to US plans that have angered Russia.

Under a treaty that entered into force in February 2011, Washington and Moscow are to limit the number of operationally deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 - 30 percent lower than the ceiling a 2002 pact established.

But they still hold most of the world's nuclear arms - a fact underlined by the Chinese representative on the opening day of a two-week meeting in Vienna to discuss the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a 1970 pact.

China, Britain and France are the other three recognized nuclear weapons states in the world.

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