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US and China resume nuclear weapons talks for first time in five years

US and China resume nuclear weapons talks for first time in five years Illustrative photo: US and China hold nuclear weapons talks (flickr by Maxx Bootz)
Author: Daryna Vialko

The United States and China held informal talks on nuclear weapons. This happened for the first time in five years, according to Reuters.

The dialogue took place at an informal level, with former officials, academics, and analysts representing the United States and China.

A representative of the US State Department told Reuters that such talks can be useful, but they cannot replace official dialog.

During the meeting, representatives of the US delegation expressed fears that China could resort to nuclear threats if it fails to take control of Taiwan.

"They (representatives of China delegation - ed.) told the US side that they were absolutely convinced that they are able to prevail in a conventional fight over Taiwan without using nuclear weapons," said the US scholar David Santoro, the organizer of talks.

The talks came after the Pentagon admitted last year that China would consider using nuclear weapons in the event of defeat in a possible military conflict with Taiwan.

According to the US Department of Defense, China's nuclear arsenal increased by more than 20% between 2021 and 2023.

What preceded it

Tensions have been growing between China and Taiwan for several years. The United States has repeatedly suggested that China could launch a war against the island to regain control of it.

Recently, China organized large-scale military exercises around Taiwan. This happened a few days after the inauguration of Taiwan's new president, Lai Ching-te.

Read more about the exercises in the material by RBC-Ukraine.