BEIJING, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- China firmly opposes the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) published by the United States Department of Defense, a spokesman from China's National Defense Ministry said Sunday.
The U.S. document presumptuously speculated about the intentions behind China's development and played up the threat of China's nuclear strength, spokesman Ren Guoqiang said.
The 74-page report cast China as "a major challenge to U.S. interests in Asia," saying the U.S. strategy for China is designed to "prevent Beijing from mistakenly concluding that it could secure an advantage through the limited use of its theater nuclear capabilities or that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is acceptable."
Ren reaffirmed that China will resolutely stick to peaceful development and pursue a national defense policy that is defensive in nature.
China has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances. Under no circumstances will China use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, he said.
China has always exercised the utmost restraint in the development of nuclear weapons and limited its nuclear capabilities to the minimum level required for national security, he added.
The United States, which possesses the world's largest nuclear weapons arsenal, should conform to the irreversible world trend of peace and development rather than run in the opposite direction, Ren said.
"We hope the U.S. side will discard its 'cold-war mentality,' shoulder its own special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament, understand correctly China's strategic intentions and take a fair view on China's national defense and military development," he said.
He urged the U.S. side to meet China halfway to make military relations between the two sides a stable factor in bilateral relations, and jointly safeguard global peace, stability and prosperity.