China denies US report it’s rapidly growing its nuclear arms

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A senior Chinese arms control official denied Tuesday that his government is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal, though he said it is taking steps to modernize its nuclear forces.

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Fu Cong, the director general of the Foreign Ministry’s arms control department, said that China is working to ensure its nuclear deterrent meets the minimum level necessary for national defense.

“On the assertions made by US officials that China is expanding dramatically its nuclear capabilities, first, let me say that this is untrue,” he said at a briefing in Beijing. The news conference was held a day after China, the US, Russia, Great Britain and France issued a joint statement on preventing nuclear war or an arms race.

The US Defense Department said in a report in November that China is expanding its nuclear force faster than previously predicted and could have more than 1,000 warheads by 2030. The US has 3,750 nuclear weapons.

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