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US, China hold nuclear talks for first time in 5 years, Reuters reports

by Dmytro Basmat June 22, 2024 4:44 AM 2 min read
Illustrative photo of a Chinese national flag on a flagpole in Beijing on Aug. 8, 2016. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
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Informal discussions on nuclear weapons between the United States and China resumed in March for the first time in five years, Reuters first reported on June 21, with Beijing delegates assuring their American counterparts that they would not resort to using nuclear threats over Taiwan.

According to Reuters, Chinese representatives assured U.S. delegates that China has no intentions of using or threatening to use nuclear weapons if it was faced with a hypothetical defeat in a conflict against Taiwan.

The semi-official discussions, led by delegates that include former government officials and scholars, did not involve the U.S. State Department, although a spokesperson for the State Department told Reuters that the talks were "beneficial."

Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, Western nations have raised concerns that China may invade the island, emboldened by Russia's invasion.

In the lead up to the Taiwanese presidential election, China renewed threats to annex the island, claiming that it will "all necessary measures to firmly safeguard our national sovereignty and territorial integrity" - referring to Beijing's One China policy that includes Taiwan.

Participants in the discussions said that China "told the U.S. side that they were absolutely convinced that they are able to prevail in a conventional fight over Taiwan without using nuclear weapons," David Santoro, the U.S. organizer of the Track Two talks, told Reuters.

Russia has been deepening ties with both North Korea and China throughout its full-scale war in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly made nuclear threats against Ukraine and the West since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in February 2022. The threats have failed to materialize, and Russia continues to wage its all-out war without its nuclear arsenal.

China remains Russia's key economic lifeline amid international sanctions and the leading source of dual-use goods feeding the Russian defense industry.

Japan sanctions China-based companies, other entities over support for Russia’s aggression
Japan on June 21 for the first time announced sanctions against China-based companies over their support for Russian aggression.

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