America’s senior arms negotiator said Washington is taking diplomatic and military steps to put an end to Beijing’s “great wall of secrecy” that surrounds its rapid and expanding strategic weapons program.
Speaking at a Heritage Foundation online forum this week, Marshall Billingslea, senior envoy for arms control, said Xi Jin-ping and the Communist Party leadership are engaged “in a crash nuclear build-up” with the intent of re-establishing China as the Middle Kingdom, the dominant global power.
China continues “to hide a dagger in a smile” diplomatically, Billingslea said.
Billingslea contrasted the more than 100-page document the United States has released on nuclear strategy to the five paragraphs China has publicly released on its nuclear program and strategy. He said in prepared remarks and in answers to questions that the United States is willing to engage in nuclear arms talks with Beijing and Moscow to avoid a new nuclear arms race.
Billingslea was speaking a little more than a month after the Pentagon released a report saying China has 200 operational nuclear weapons in its stockpile and is driving to at least double that number over the next decade.
Visible proof of Chinese intentions to build up strategic forces came