China opposes new USA nuclear strategy

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"Most of these warheads are of the type that can destroy entire cities, but the USA also deploys bombers in Europe that are capable of dropping bombs with lower explosive yields", Fleming said, warning that any US nuclear buildup may lead to "a renewed arms race and a more risky world".

"As in the times of the Cold War, we in Europe are especially endangered" by "a renewed nuclear arms race", Gabriel said.

The US military has put countering China and Russian Federation, dubbed "revisionist powers", at the centre of a new national defence strategy unveiled earlier this month.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ren Guoqiang noted that China is carrying out its military development and policies in that sector with a defensive goal, not with the intention of attacking any country.

"The US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation require a wider range of credible low-yield nuclear options" to deter Russian Federation from using its own smaller nuclear weapons, Greg Weaver, the deputy director of strategic capabilities for the military's Joint Staff, told reporters Friday.

"We hope that the United States will abandon its Cold War mentality", Mr Ren said.

Defense Ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang said "we hope the USA will abandon a Cold War mentality and earnestly shoulder its special and prior responsibility for its own nuclear disarmament". China has also long maintained it will never allow first use of its atomic weapons.

The US, which possesses the world's largest nuclear weapons arsenal, should conform to the irreversible world trend of peace and development rather than run in the opposite direction, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Ren as saying.

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China's nuclear arsenal is relatively small, estimated by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute at just 270 warheads compared with 6,800 for the US.

What is the new United States policy?

In a speech on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, on one hand the United States is calling the use of weapons of mass destruction as a crime against humanity while on the other hand it is threatening its rivals with a new atomic weapon.

The doctrine notes that these activities are not intended at being employed for nuclear warfare, however, they are aimed at raising the United States nuclear threshold to ensure that the country's potential adversaries perceive no possible advantage in nuclear escalation.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier warned in a tweet that the U.S. policy document posed the risk of "bringing humankind closer to annihilation". At its core is expanding low-yield nuclear weapons.

Iran's nuclear deal, reached with six world powers, lifted some global sanctions in exchange for curbs to its nuclear programme.

The ultimatum put pressure on European Union powers - key backers and parties to the 2015 worldwide agreement to curb Iran's nuclear programme - to satisfy Mr Trump, who wants the pact strengthened with a separate agreement.