China to Washington: Do not rely on satellite images to assess our nuclear power
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responds to the information and news reported by US media about China's nuclear arsenal and calls it "contradictory".
The Director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Arms Control Department, Fu Cong, warned that the United States should not attempt to assess China's nuclear arsenal based on any satellite images.
Cong's statements came in response to information and news reported by US media that China is building at least three sites for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“On the assertions made by US officials that China is expanding dramatically its nuclear capabilities, first, let me say that this is untrue,” he said at a briefing in Beijing.
"The US and Russia still possess 90% of the nuclear warheads on Earth," Fu Cong, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters.
"They must reduce their nuclear arsenal in an irreversible and legally binding manner."
The Chinese official added, "With regard to the tunnels, I have read reports on this subject and they are conflicting, as someone says that they are missile silos or wind generators. I am not in a position to confirm anything in the area mentioned in the reports."
Cong would not confirm the missile silos but said the size of China’s nuclear force should not be estimated based on the satellite photos.
In turn, China announced today, Tuesday, that it will continue to "modernize" its nuclear arsenal and called on the United States and Russia to reduce their stockpiles a day after global powers pledged to prevent such weapons from spreading.
There is growing global "concern" over China's military modernization, particularly after its armed forces announced last year that they had developed a hypersonic missile capable of flying at five times the speed of sound.