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China decries U.S. 'Cold War mentality' in nuclear weapons policy

China on Sunday criticized the United States' new nuclear weapons policy, labeling it a throwback that undermines progress.

"Peace and development are irreversible global trends. The United States, the country that owns the world's largest nuclear arsenal, should take the initiative to follow the trend instead of going against it," said a statement from Beijing. "We hope that the United States will abandon its Cold War mentality, earnestly assume its special disarmament responsibilities, correctly understand China's strategic intentions and objectively view China's national defense and military build-up."

The statement came in response to the Defense Department's latest Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), published Friday. Cast as a response to growing global threats, the NPR outlines plans to develop smaller nuclear weapons that are easier to use. The document's deterrence language focused more on Russia than China.