The United States is planning to draft new arms control treaties imposing new limits on Russia's nuclear arsenal and placing unprecedented limits on and verifying China's program, according to a report published Thursday.
US President Donald Trump also unilaterally withdrew the US from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a ballistic missile pact with Russia that was intended to limit the possibility of nuclear war in Europe, according to the report by The Washington Post.
The results of Trumps latest efforts are still uncertain. Either bilateral pacts with the two countries, or a trilateral grand pact will be achieved. But, the effective functioning will take years of time.
In explaining to the American people his decision to exit the INF Treaty, Trump hinted that he might pursue the latter option.
"Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others," Trump said during his State of the Union address in February. "Or perhaps we can’t — in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far."
Trump has also lamented the funding that Washington, Beijing and Moscow is allocating to arms development, Anadolu Agency reported Friday.
"Between Russia and China and us, we’re all making hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons, including nuclear, which is ridiculous. It doesn’t really make sense that we’re all doing this," he said earlier this month while meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
The White House is currently preparing for talks between the superpowers that could pave the way for such an agreement, according to the Post.
“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 who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Post.
“What you’re going to see is more from the administration on how do we get to arms control that doesn’t just reflect a Cold War mentality.”
Should that come to fruition, it would mark a major achievement for a presidency that has hitherto been focused on withdrawing the US from major international arms control treaties, including the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.