President Donald Trump said Monday that his decision to withdraw from a decades-old atomic accord with Russia was also driven by a need to respond to China’s nuclear build-up.
“Until people come to their senses, we will build it up,” Trump told reporters Monday at the White House, referring to the US nuclear arsenal.
“It’s a threat to whoever you want. And it includes China. And it includes Russia. And it includes anybody else that wants to play that game.”
Beijing is not a signatory to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
China for its part Monday called on the United States to “think twice” about its decision to ditch a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty with Russia.
“It needs to be emphasized that it is completely wrong to bring up China when talking about withdrawal from the treaty,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
The landmark treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev and led to nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles being eliminated.