Chinese Defense Minister Says Nuclear Buildup Is Justified

SINGAPORE — China’s defense minister said the country’s nuclear weapons buildup was an appropriate response to a more threatening international environment, a rare official acknowledgment of Beijing’s expanding nuclear arsenal.

Speaking at a defense conference in Singapore on Sunday, Gen. Wei Fenghe also pushed back against a claim by the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that the Chinese military has become increasingly aggressive, instead claiming that US strategy in the Asia-Pacific region is responsible for propelling the two sides into confrontation.


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