President Joe Biden charged China with covertly acquiring nuclear weapons on Wednesday, just one day after White House environmental envoy John Kerry said he wanted to resume climate talks with China.
After China interrupted talks in response to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, John Kerry expressed his wish to resume diplomatic climate talks with China. Biden slammed China for weakening the global “nuclear non-proliferation framework” by enhancing its nuclear capabilities in secrecy during his speech to the UN General Assembly in New York. He also urged countries to adopt nuclear weapons control laws.
In his UN speech, Biden referred to China’s nuclear weapons development as “an unprecedented, worrisome nuclear buildup without any openness.”
Senators and experts stated during an Armed Services session on Tuesday that China is thought to have 350 nuclear warheads today, but that figure is expected to triple within a decade. As of yet, no strategic weapons control agreements have been reached between China and the United States.
In a clear distinction between the two terms, Kerry noted at a New York Times climate event, “They paused… they didn’t cancel the climate discussions. We owe it to humanity, so I sincerely hope China will realize at some point in the following days that it is worthwhile to revisit this.”
Kerry claimed that he tried to get in touch with Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs, with whom he is friends, to reopen climate negotiations, but claimed that he had not heard back. Kerry expressed hope that talks might get up again and predicted that China would work with the US to advance the global climate agenda, which aims to phase out fossil fuels.
In the latter part of August, Kerry also lauded China, saying that the communist country has “outperformed its obligations” to reduce carbon emissions and promote renewable energy.
On Sept 21, 2022, in New York City, U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
According to The Wall Street Journal, China stepped up its attempts to amass nuclear warheads capable of hitting the U.S. mainland in April.