By Richard Fisher
China spent the week following the Aug. 2 U.S. departure from the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, criticizing Washington’s decision.
A senior official pushed back against the Aug. 3 statement by U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper that the U.S. would like to begin deploying new intermediate range missiles within the “month,” and called suggestions that it join arms control negotiations “unfair”.
In an Aug. 6 press briefing, Fu Cong, Director General of the Bureau of Arms Control and Disarmament of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The U.S. withdrawal [from the INF Treaty] will inevitably have a direct negative impact on global strategic stability, on peace and security in Europe and Asia-Pacific region, as well as the international arms control regime.”
Fu then issued a threat: “China will not stand idly by and will be forced to take counter measures if the U.S. deploys intermediate-range ground-based missiles in this part of the world.”