China accuses USA of 'Cold War mentality'

The Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review has called for submarines to be armed with low-yield nuclear cruise missiles

The U.S. Defense Ministry on Friday officially published the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the guiding principle for the future U.S. policy seeking enhanced nuclear deterrent which is already the world's most powerful.

Days after Washington published a document outlining it's plans to expand its nuclear capabilities to deter others, Asian giants, China has accused the U.S. of having a "Cold War" mentally.

The 74-page report, which is the first review of United States nuclear policy since 2010, labels China "a major challenge to USA interests in Asia".

Regarding China, in addition to describing the Asian country as an adversary, Washington pointed out that it is ready to prevent Beijing from taking advantage if it uses that military technology in Asia or accepts its use in a lesser scale.

"The US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation require a wider range of credible low-yield nuclear options" to deter Russian Federation from using its own smaller nuclear weapons, Greg Weaver, the deputy director of strategic capabilities for the military's Joint Staff, told reporters Friday.

Asking the United States to discard its "cold- war mentality" and take a fair view on China's military development, Beijing on Sunday criticised a Pentagon report that cast the Communist giant as "a major challenge" to America's interests in Asia.

The US military believes its nuclear weapons are seen as too big to be used and wants to develop low-yield bombs, Russian Federation has already condemned the plan. China has also long maintained it will never allow first use of its atomic weapons.

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Upgrades to its nuclear arsenal have received less attention, partly because of its small size, estimated by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute at just 270 warheads compared to 6,800 for the US. John Rood, Undersecretary of Defence for Policy, said: "There is no automaticity to this policy", when asked how the U.S. would manage responses to cases of "extreme circumstances".

In a speech on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, on one hand the United States is calling the use of weapons of mass destruction as a crime against humanity while on the other hand it is threatening its rivals with a new atomic weapon.

On Twitter, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also lashed out.

"The U.S. nuclear arsenal remains the largest and most capable in the world, consisting of thousands of warheads loaded on intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarines-launched ballistic missiles, along with nuclear bombs and cruise missiles carried by long-range bombers", Tony Fleming of the Arms Control Association told Xinhua.

During his campaign, Trump promised to expand and strengthen the United States' nuclear arsenal.

Iran's nuclear deal, reached with six world powers, lifted some global sanctions in exchange for curbs to its nuclear programme.

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