US urges China to join nuclear arms talks

Wed 22 Jan 2020, 17:07:53
Geneva: Washington called Tuesday on Beijing to join its nuclear arms talks with Moscow, warning that lack of transparency around China's growing weapons stockpile posed a "serious threat".

The United States and Russia have held two rounds of talks aimed at reducing misunderstandings about critical security issues since the collapse of a Cold War nuclear pact last year, which triggered fears of a new arms race.

Washington has hinted previously it believes Beijing, with its growing nuclear arsenal, should join the discussions. President Donald Trump has insisted any new disarmament pact would need China to come on board.

US Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva Robert Wood said Tuesday that Washington was intent on convincing China to join the discussions.

He acknowledged that Beijing had yet to provide "positive feedback", but that Moscow had hinted during the last so-called strategic security dialogue last week that it would "use its influence with China to bring them to the table".

"Given the fact that China's (nuclear) stockpile is estimated to double over the next 10 years, we think it is now time to have (a) trilateral discussion," he told reporters in Geneva.

"We cannot afford to wait," he said.

"We have to deal with this serious threat to strategic stability, which is the lack of transparency around China's nuclear stockpile enhancement.

'Nobody should have pessimistic view about Indian economy': Prakash Javadekar

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said that nobody should have a pessimistic view about Indian economy as "our fundamentals are very strong."

Responding to a question about the downward revision of India's growth rate by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said at a Cabinet briefing that the economy is on the path of "revival" and nobody should have a pessimistic view about it.

The IMF on Monday slightly revised downwards the growth outlook for the global economy and flagged fundamental issues of reform in trade systems.

The new projections estimate growth at 2.9 per cent in 2019, 3.3 per cent in 2020 and 3.4 per cent in 2021.

The minister said that the Union Budget on February 1 will have a "plan of action".

"Nobody should have pessimistic view about Indian economy; our fundamentals are very strong," he said.

Javadekar also slammed critics of the National Popular Register exercise, saying that it was done during the Congress-led government as well.
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