China on Friday countered US President-elect Donald Trump’s remarks about expanding the country’s nuclear capabilities by suggesting that Washington should be doing the opposite. It should take the lead in reducing nuclear weapons for a safer world.
“The world’s largest nuclear stockpile country should take the lead in making substantial cuts to its nuclear arsenal so as to create conditions for total elimination of nuclear weapons,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Friday in response to Trump’s comment over Twitter.
The United States, which has the world’s largest nuclear stockpile, bears special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament, Chunying said while reassuring Washington that China always stands for and advocates complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, told CNN on Thursday that the United States under Donald Trump’s presidency will not allow other countries to increase their nuclear capability without responding in kind. “There are countries around the globe right now that are talking about increasing their nuclear capacity,” Sean Spicer said.
“And the United States is not going to sit back and allow that to happen without acting in kind,” he said, when pressed to explain a Trump tweet calling for the US to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability.”
“I think the president-elect is very clear that he’s going to be very active in putting America’s security first and foremost,” Spicer said. “And if another country wants to threaten our sovereignty or our safety he will act.”
Asked if he was referring specifically to Moscow, Spicer replied: “I’m talking about Russia — it’s not just about one country. It’s any country.”
Shortly earlier, Trump was quoted as having told an MSNBC host — when asked to clarify his nuclear policy tweet — that his administration had no reservations about entering “an arms race.” The network’s Mika Brzezinksi said she spoke to the president-elect during a commercial break, after concluding an on-air interview with Spicer.— TNN/CNN