China has always pursued a no first use policy for nuclear weapons and will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, China's Defense Ministry said on Thursday, stressing the nation will never engage in a nuclear arms race with any country.
Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks in response to some media reports which he described hyped up China's nuclear strategy and China's "nuclear threat".
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, the United States Strategic Command has notified the U.S. Congress China now has more land-based intercontinental-range missile launchers than the U.S..
Some Japanese media outlets also claimed China plans to significantly expand its nuclear arsenal by 2027 and might abandon its no-first-use policy once China achieves its goal of military modernization.
"Those reports are irresponsible sensationalism," Tan said. "China pursues a nuclear strategy of self-defense, the goal of which is to maintain national strategic security by deterring other countries from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against China."
China's nuclear policy is "highly stable, continuous and predictable," the spokesman stressed, underlining the country wouldn't involve itself in any nuclear arms race and always keeps its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security.
The defense official also criticized the U.S., which he said has the world's largest nuclear arsenal but is "still investing heavily in upgrading its triad of nuclear forces, developing low-yield nuclear weapons, lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons and strengthening its nuclear umbrella".
"The U.S. has repeatedly hyped up the so-called 'China nuclear threat' to find an excuse to expand its nuclear arsenal and maintain its military hegemony," Tan said.
He urged parties concerned to stop groundless hyping, reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national security policies and adopt a no-first-use policy, as well as fulfill their responsibilities for nuclear disarmament and take concrete action to maintain global strategic stability.