China opposes US announcement of withdrawing from INF Treaty

China opposes US announcement of withdrawing from INF Treaty

BEIJING: Chinese foreign ministry opposed the United States (US) announcement of withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty saying, the treaty had played an important role in easing international relations, advancing the process of nuclear disarmament, and even maintaining global strategic balance and stability.

“It is still of great significance today. A unilateral withdrawal will have multiple negative effects,” Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying said during her regular press briefing.

She said it was an important arms control and disarmament treaty reached between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

“We hope that the countries concerned will cherish the hard-won achievements over the years, properly handle issues related to the treaty through dialogue and consultation, and think twice before retiring,” she added.

The INF Treaty was signed by then US president Ronald Reagan and former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, in a bid to halt the proliferation of nuclear and conventional missiles.

The pact worked toward the elimination of short and intermediate range nuclear and conventional missiles by both countries.