This undated file photo of the Pentagon seen from an airplane over Washington D.C., the United States. (LIU JIE / XINHUA)
BEIJING – The United States should seriously reflect on its nuclear policy and step up to its special, primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament, in order to create conditions for attaining the ultimate goal of complete and thorough nuclear disarmament, China's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a regular press briefing in response to a report released by the US Department of Defense, which alleged that China's nuclear arsenal is likely to more than triple to 1,500 warheads by 2035.
READ MORE: Pentagon scaremongering in bid to justify US' aggressive nuclear policy
Zhao said that the US has been hyping up various versions of the "China threat" narrative simply to find pretext for expanding its nuclear arsenal and perpetuating military predominance in recent years.
China has exercised utmost restraint in developing nuclear capabilities and kept those capabilities at the minimum level required by national security, said Lijian
"The world knows well that this is a go-to tactic of the United States," he said.
Zhao said China's nuclear policy is consistent and clear, which follows a self-defensive nuclear strategy and sticks to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons. China has exercised utmost restraint in developing nuclear capabilities and kept those capabilities at the minimum level required by national security. "China is never part of any form of arms race."
Noting that the US has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, Zhao pointed out that the US side has kept upgrading its "nuclear triad" in recent years, and strengthening the role of nuclear weapons in its national security policies.
Washington still clings to a nuclear deterrence policy based on first use of nuclear weapons to this day, and openly devises nuclear deterrence strategies against particular countries, he said.
He pointed out that the US is also engaged in nuclear submarine cooperation with the UK and Australia, which has violated the object and purposes of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
ALSO READ: US still mired in a Cold War mindset, but tide is turning
He urged the US side to abandon the Cold War mentality and hegemonic logic, stop disrupting global strategic stability, and take substantial and substantive cuts to its nuclear arsenal, so as to create conditions for attaining the ultimate goal of complete and thorough nuclear disarmament.