WASHINGTON, March 29 (UPI) — China plans to send a delegation to the Nuclear Security Summit to be hosted in Washington next month by U.S. President Barack Obama, a Chinese diplomat said.
“But it’s not decided yet as to who will head the Chinese delegation,” said Wang Baodong, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington.
More than 40 countries were invited to the summit and China has yet to officially let the White House know if it will attend, The Washington Post reported Monday.
U.S. officials had assumed China would not participate because of its opposition to a $6.4 billion weapons sale by the United States to Taiwan that was announced in January. Other policy experts said China may still be deciding how it can take part and who to send.
“China is going to have to weigh its desire to punish the United States with its own desire to send a signal to the world that they are a responsible player that need not be viewed as threatening,” said Christopher Twomey, an analyst at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
China has an estimated 800 nuclear warheads. The United States has more than 2,000 deployed long-range warheads and about 5,000 working warheads.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.