Trump admin aiming for major nuclear deal with Russia and China

Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell spoke with CNN about including China in potential arms control deals with the United States and Russia.

“The only reason you bring up China is if you have no intention of extending the New START Treaty,” said Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
Bell and other arms control experts worry that before too long, the world’s two largest nuclear powers might shed limits on their nuclear arsenals for the first time in decades.
Bell says that if New START expires, the US will lose access to vital information about the Russian nuclear system. “We give that up, we lose that intelligence that gives us a real time view into their strategic arsenal … then we have to make choices about what we do with our own nuclear weapons based on guessing.”
Bell and others question say the administration’s idea to include China in the treaty raises questions and, in some ways, strains credulity.
First, Beijing has long said that it would not engage in nuclear controls with countries that have much larger stockpiles. China has less than one-tenth the nuclear weapons that Russia and the US have, it has a no first use policy and is believed to store its warheads apart from its missiles.
“China isn’t even in the same ballpark,” said Bell. “They’re not even playing the same game.” Read more