China urged the United States to reduce its nuclear arsenal and pledged on Thursday it would never instigate an atomic war, in a response to a new US nuclear policy unveiled this week.
"As the owner of one of the world's biggest arsenals, it is important for the United States to reduce its nuclear arsenal in a responsible manner," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
Jiang had been asked to comment about a new US policy that said, for the first time Washington would never launch an atomic strike on any non-nuclear nation that complies with the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
She also was asked for China's stance on President Barack Obama's plans to sign a landmark nuclear disarmament treaty with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday that slashes their two nations' atomic arsenals.
Jiang said, China would welcome the agreement, saying significant cuts in the two arsenals would be conducive to world nuclear disarmament.
China said, last week President Hu Jintao would attend an international summit on nuclear security in the United States next week.
Jiang pledged China would never attack non-nuclear countries.
"We firmly pursue a nuclear strategy that is defensive in nature. We adhere to a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances and at any time," she said.
"We have a clear, unconditional commitment to not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-armed countries or nuclear-free zones."
She added that China would never engage in any sort of nuclear arms race and would "keep its nuclear capacity at the minimum level for national security.