US commander says Chinese nuke weapons no ‘direct threat’

2012-05-31 (China Military News cited from bangkokpost.com) –  China’s nuclear weapons do not pose a “direct threat” to the United States, the man in charge of America’s arsenal said Wednesday in calling for greater dialogue with the Chinese military.

China’s military shows off missiles during a parade in Beijing in 2009. China’s nuclear weapons do not pose a “direct threat” to the United States, the man in charge of America’s arsenal said Wednesday in calling for greater dialogue with the Chinese military.

“We would like to have routine contact and conversations with China’s military,” said General Robert Kehler, head of Strategic Command or STRATCOM, which oversees America’s nuclear deterrence operations around the globe.

“We think there would be tremendous benefit to that in both China and the United States, in particular to help us avoid some misunderstanding or some tension in the future.”

Kehler said that although the United States and Russia account for roughly 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, dealing with the Chinese on the matter will become increasingly important.

“I do not see the Chinese strategic deterrent as a direct threat to the United States. We are not enemies,” he said.

“Could it be? I suppose if we were enemies it could be and therefore we at least have to be aware of that.”

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