Nuclear arms control issues cannot be addressed without China — expert

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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Issues of unclear arms control cannot be resolved without China, and that’s why the international community should think about expanding the number of parties to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), Dan Smith, Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told the Primakov Readings forum.

“There is an interesting and important case to be made China could be engaging more directly in nuclear arms control. But if it does, then the discussion would have to extend to other nuclear states as well [to join New START],” Smith pointed out.

The expert underlined that Beijing is the second biggest power in the world in military spending after the US. “China is now the second-largest military spender in the world, responsible for 13% of the military spending. That is by the way about a third of the American share of the world military spending <…>. But it is about four times Russia’s share and about four times the share of any major European spenders,” he said.

“In international arms trade in major weapons, China is one of the top five importers in the world, and it is also one of the top five exporters in the world,” Smith added, noting that Pakistan is one of the biggest markets for the country.

According to him, the UK, France, Pakistan, and India could also join New Start to maintain the international nuclear arms balance.