By Helene Fung
The US State Department announced that US Special Presidential Envoy Marshall Billingslea will be meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Austria early next week to discuss “mutually agreed topics related to the future of arms control”, and that an invitation has been extended to China to join.
The US State Department said there is a need “for all three countries to pursue arms control negotiations in good faith”.
US President Donald Trump has called for China to join US and Russia to talks on a nuclear arms control agreement to replace the 2010 New Start Accord, which is due to expire in February 2021. China has however rejected the proposal.
On the same day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke via teleconference at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit in Denmark, and labelled China as a “rogue actor” angling for global domination. Mr Pompeo warned Europeans that there is no way they can embrace China without abandoning their democratic values.
Mr Pompeo said he similarly had a “very frank” message for senior Chinese official Yang Jiechi, when they met in Hawaii behind closed doors on Wednesday (local time), telling Mr Yang that the US was closely watching China’s actions.