US President Joe Biden is facing increasing pressure to reverse its decision to cancel a $10 billion program to develop sea-launched nuclear cruise missiles.
This new deterrent weapons system, known as SLCM-N, had been fully supported by the military hierarchy of the Pentagonbut was officially scrapped last month as part of the Nuclear Posture Review.
Despite having the support of General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, it was assessed that the nuclear cruise missile had “zero value” in terms of deterrence against Russia and China, as well as other potential threats.
However, US defense sources confirmed that, since the decision, the “hawks on the hill” who disagreed with the military cuts made by the Biden Administration had backed down to demand a review.
Biden and Xi ease tensions
Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping staged a rapprochement this Monday aimed at preventing their rivalry escalates into open conflictthough both stuck to their red lines, especially around Taiwan.
both leaders They met for more than three hours in a hotel on the Indonesian island of Bali.a day before the G20 summit starts and in what was the first face-to-face meeting of the two leaders since the American arrived at the White House in January 2021.
The Chinese and US governments gave details of the meeting in two statements, which coincide on many points but they differ in others, such as the war in Ukraine. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement, Xi warned Biden that Taiwan, whose sovereignty China claims, is “the first red line that must not be crossed” and assured that he hopes the US will “honor its promise” not to support eventual independence for the island.
For its part, the White House said that Biden told Xi that his policy towards Taiwan has not changed and that he continues to oppose any “unilateral change” to the status quo. Biden reiterated his support for the principle of “one China” which means that the only Chinese government that Washington recognizes is the one based in Beijing, which distances him from Taiwan’s independence aspirations.
On the other hand, the US version of the meeting ensures that Xi and Biden agreed to reject the use of nuclear weapons in the war in Ukrainea claim that looms large given Russia’s nuclear threats.
About, Xi reiterated that China is “very concerned” about the current situation and stands on the side of “peace”.For this reason, he reiterated his wish that negotiations between Ukraine and Russia be established again, in addition to “deep dialogues” between Russia, the United States, NATO and the European Union.
China has had to do contortions with the war in Ukraine: it has avoided criticism of Russia, which it considers its strategic partner; but it has avoided playing an active role because one of its great principles in foreign policy is respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States.
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