Chief of NATO Jens Stoltenberg has urged Beijing to join an expanded Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, so that its missiles become bound by it.
“We see that China is investing heavily in new, modern weapons, including new missiles,” Stoltenberg said on German ZDF public television.
“And half of their missiles would violate the INF treaty if China were a signatory,” he said, referring to the 1987 nuclear weapons accord that the US last month threatened to quit.
“We support expanding this treaty so that China is also bound by it”, he added.
After the signing of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance in 1950, the Soviet Union assisted China’s military R&D with training, technical documentation, manufacturing equipment and licensed production of Soviet weapons. In the area of ballistic missiles, the Soviets transferred R-1 (SS-1), R–2 (SS-2) and R-11F technology to China.
The first Chinese ballistic missiles were based on Soviet designs. Since then, China has made many advances in its ballistic missile and rocket technology. For instance, the space launch Long March rockets have their roots in the Dongfeng missiles.
Stoltenberg said Tuesday:
“NATO does not want a new arms race, but we are very worried about the new Russian missiles, they are mobile, they are nuclear-capable and they can reach cities in Europe like Berlin”.