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Trump Demands Push for Arms Control Agreements with Russia and China

April 29, 2019 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump ordered his staff to prepare a new push for arms control agreements with Russia and China, the Washington Post reported April 25, attributing the President’s current view to the cost of a nuclear arms race, according to administration officials.

The President’s aim is to bring Russian nuclear weapons unregulated by treaties under new limits, and convince China to join an arms control treaty, limiting or verifying its armaments for the first time. “The President’s direction is that we need to look at more ambitious arms control that will deal with more weapons, and more than just us and Russia,” a senior administration official told the Post indicating that what the President wants is arms control “that doesn’t just reflect a Cold War mentality.”

Separate treaties alone would be a huge achievement, but “a trilateral nuclear arms-control agreement among the U.S., Russia, and China would be “a watershed diplomatic achievement,” in the Post’s words.

Trump raised the disarmament proposal before trade talks this month with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. Trump said that after concluding a trade deal with China, both countries should sign agreements to reduce military spending, declaring, “And between Russia and China and us, we’re all making hundreds of billions of dollars worth of weapons, including nuclear, which is ridiculous. And I would say that China will come along and I would say Russia will come along. It doesn’t really make sense that were all doing this,” said the President at an April 4 press opportunity.

“I think it is a very good idea,” responded Liu, according to the White House transcript.

Yesterday, Russia’s TASS reported that Russian Presidential aide for international affairs Yuri Ushakov responded to President Trump’s statement on Rossiya Channel 1 TV’s “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin,” program saying, “We are also ready for new [agreements], but serious talks are needed for this, but unfortunately, no one has started them.”