China accuses United States of 'Cold War mentality' over nuclear policy

US soldiers seen during a military exercise near the border between South and North Korea last year

US soldiers seen during a military exercise near the border between South and North Korea last year

The lower-yield weapons would enhance the credibility of the US arsenal, the review claims.

Acting Undersecretary of State Anita Friedt listens to a question during a press conference on the Review of the Nuclear Posture 2018 at the Pentagon on Friday, February 2.

Meanwhile in a brief editor's note last week, China's military mouthpiece PLA Daily called for an expanded nuclear stockpile so that the country could better deter and hit back at enemy strikes at a time of geopolitical uncertainty, and as the United States appeared bent on a nuclear build-up.

Avoidance of "automaticity", a system where there is an automated retaliation in the form of a nuclear strike, and the need for new low-yield nuclear weapons are among the highlights of the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) of the United States government released over the weekend.

"Mr Zarif also said in his tweet: "(U.S. President Donald) Trump's obduracy in killing the #JCPOA (Iran's nuclear deal with world powers) stems from the same unsafe imprudence".

China's Defense Ministry hit back Sunday, describing the report as "presumptuous speculation".

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier warned in a tweet that the United States policy document posed the risk of "bringing humankind closer to annihilation".

The Pentagon document, which is largely in line with the previous review in 2010, said the USA would modify a small number of submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads with low-yield options.

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The NPR has called for nuclear weapons in the form of "low-yield" warheads that can be launched from the sky or from submarines in cruise missiles and smaller ballistic missiles.

America's flawed political leadership and planned expansion of nuclear weapons will lead to a major conflict with Russian Federation and China, says a former USA foreign policy adviser and diplomat.

Proposed modification of some submarine-launched nuclear warheads to give a lower-yield or less powerful detonation.

"Our long-term aim must continue to be a world without nuclear weapons", Gabriel continued - the stated aim of U.S. nuclear policy under former president Barack Obama.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed "deep disappointment" at the plan.

The comprehensive review of nuclear policy does not foresee a increase in the arsenal of strategic atomic weapons of the United States, a position that contrasts with the one Trump propounded in a tweet shortly before assuming the presidency, that the country "must reinforce and expand considerably its nuclear capacity until the world returns to reason against atomic weapons".

The current US non-strategic nuclear force consists exclusively of a relatively small number of B61 gravity bombs carried by F-15E and allied dual capable aircraft (DCA). Late a year ago it denounced Washington's updated defence strategy and urged the USA to abandon "outdated notions".

China will resolutely stick to peaceful development and pursue a national defence policy that is defencive in nature, Ren said.

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