July 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department said on Thursday that it will invite the Chinese government to engage in face-to-face arms control negotiations in Vienna.
In a press release issued Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus also recommended China meet with Russia "to consider next steps for trilateral arms control negotiations." Advertisement
"We will all bring different perspectives and objectives to the negotiating table and will surely have disagreements," Ortagus said. "But it is time for dialogue and diplomacy between the three biggest nuclear weapons powers on how to prevent a new arms race."
On Wednesday a senior Chinese diplomat said China would be happy to join arms control talks with the United States and Russia -- but only if the United States agrees to reduce its arsenal to match Chinas level.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly asked China to join trilateral arms control talks, but China has refused, arguing that its nuclear arsenal is comparatively small relatively to the United States and Russia, which have at least 5,000 nuclear warheads each.