China accuses U.S. of ‘Cold War mentality’ over nuclear policy

An unarmed AGM-86B Air-Launched Cruise Missile is released from a B-52H Stratofortress over the Utah Test and Training Range during a Nuclear Weapons System Evaluation Program sortie, 80miles west of Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., September 22, 2014. Picture taken September 22, 2014. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Roidan Carlson/Handout via REUTERS

China has accused the United States of having a “Cold War mentality” when it comes to its Nuclear Policy after the U.S. published its plans to expand its nuclear arsenal by building smaller bombs.

In a statement, China’s Ministry of Defense urged the United States to take the initiative toward peace. “Peace and development are irreversible global trends,” said the Chinese defense ministry. “The United States, the country that owns the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, should take the initiative to follow the trend instead of going against it.”

The United States has 7,000 nuclear warheads, while China has 300. “We hope that the US will abandon a Cold War mentality and earnestly shoulder its special and prior responsibility for its own nuclear disarmament,” added the Ministry spokesperson, Ren Guoqiang.

The recently published document, called National Posture Review, centers on countering Russia and China, which it calls “revisionist powers” as the primary point in the new national defense strategy.

According to U.S. officials, expanding the country’s nuclear capabilities to include low-yield armaments would deter Russia from using its nuclear weapons. The plan has riled up Russia, which viewed the strategy as confrontational, raising fears that the risk of miscalculation between the two nations could increase further.

The National Posture Review proposes the extensive modernization of land based ballistic missiles, submarine-launched missiles, and air-delivered weapons, and the reinstatement of sea-based nuclear cruise missiles.

The plan also proposes the modification of some submarine-based nuclear weapons to have a lower yield, leading to less powerful detonations that will be more usable in the battlefield.

According to a political analyst Einar Tangen, the idea of a battlefield nuclear weapons that can be deployed against specific objectives is attractive to generals who want to win battles, but ultimately, it will not win the war.

“So the danger here is that somebody thinks that they can start a limited nuclear war against an objective, for instance, Iran and that somehow this will not go into a fully diverged nuclear catastrophe,” said Tangen.