China supports President Obama's calls for nuclear disarmament
China's comments came a day after President Obama called for the U.S. and Russia to reduce their stash of strategic nuclear weapons to approximately 1,000 and for stocks of tactical nuclear weapons to likewise be reduced, AFP reports.
"The US and Russia... should substantially reduce their nuclear arsenal in a verifiable and responsible manner," Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry, said, according to AFP. "As the two countries have the largest nuclear arsenal, they should bear special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament."
The U.S. and Russia together hold approximately 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons. According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, China is the fourth largest nuclear power behind France.
Russian officials reacted negatively to President Obama's statement and said the U.S. should first address Moscow's concerns over missile defense, AFP reports.
"How can we take seriously this idea about cuts in strategic nuclear potential while the United States is developing its capabilities (to intercept Russia's weapons)," Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's deputy prime minister said, according to AFP.