China opposes USA withdrawal from INF

Posted February 06, 2019

I do not think that we are talking here about a development of the Cold War. He warns that this will lead to a fresh nuclear arms race and raise the risk of such weapons being used.

President Vladimir Putin said at the weekend that Russian Federation had suspended the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which bans both nations from stationing short- and intermediate-range land-based missiles in Europe.

Saturday's formal notification of Russian Federation of the U.S. suspension sets in motion a six-month period during which Russian Federation could save the INF by coming into compliance with it in a manner that satisfies the US.

Announcing that the United States was suspending its involvement in the INF and would leave it completely in six months, President Trump said: "We can not be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other".

In the easing of Cold War tensions in the era after Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the agreement was one of the strongest indicators that the Cold War was winding down because both sides, in effect, removed their intermediate range warheads from continental Europe.

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No country has to date deployed a cruise missile using an on-board nuclear reactor, largely given the engineering challenges and safety concerns involved. John Bolton, Trump's National Security Adviser, is a well-known foe of global treaties and agreements.

Brokered by U.S. president Ronald Reagan with last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the treaty ended a superpower buildup of warheads that had frightened Europeans, banning ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (around 300 to 3,400 miles). But experts say the key test now of whether the era of arms control by treaty is over will be what the Trump administration decides to do about the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START Treaty), another jewel in the crown of US-Russia arms control.

"Over the same period, we will also have to create a land-based missile system with a long-range hypersonic missile".

"At the same time, they [the United States] are actively working on creating ground-based missiles with the range capability of over [310 miles], which is outside the treaty-stipulated limitations".

Although Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has said that Moscow should not participate in a new arms race with Washington, Russia has now signalled it will develop new land-based missiles as quickly and at as low a cost as possible.

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Given Russia is seen by the USA as having already breached the INF treaty by its deployment of a ground-launched cruise missile, designated the 9M729 or SSC-8, Moscow is clearly ahead in the race to field this previously banned category of weapons.

The Trump administration thinks the arms treaty was an unacceptable obstacle to more forcefully confronting not only Russian Federation but China.

In addition to this, Putin stated that the use of target rockets and the deployment of Mk 41 launchers in Europe since 2014 by the United States is a direct violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. With the USA maintaining the military upper hand, China places importance on a variety of cruise and ballistic missiles capable of hitting American aircraft carriers or military bases in Guam in the western Pacific and Japan.

"We will certainly respond with military-technical means to the threats that are created as a result of the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty and as a result of its plans to build low-power nuclear weapons", Lavrov said.

He said it was a contest Russian Federation would not win.

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