The Trump administration’s allegation is included in an unclassified summary of an annual review of international compliance with arms-control accords. The review has been in preparation for some time and is likely to add to existing strains over China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, its militarization of the South China Sea and trade disputes.
It also comes as President Trump is seeking to open nuclear-arms talks with Beijing in the hope of negotiating a new nuclear deal that also includes Russia and covers all nuclear weapons.
Some former arms-control officials said that the Trump administration appeared to be more concerned with scoring points against China than resolving potential disputes through diplomacy.
This is explosive news (no pun intended). There are the concerns over nuclear testing in China, of course, but also over the State Department’s decision to call out China so publicly when relations between the two nations is already riven with mistrust.