The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) of the United States shows the country's increasing reliance on nuclear weapons, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, stressing that such an approach would bring humanity closer to destruction.
China "always abides by the principle of no first use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances", Ren said, and will "unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states".
"The US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation require a wider range of credible low-yield nuclear options" to deter Russian Federation from using its own smaller nuclear weapons, Greg Weaver, the deputy director of strategic capabilities for the military's Joint Staff, told reporters Friday.
Asking the United States to discard its "cold- war mentality" and take a fair view on China's military development, Beijing on Sunday criticised a Pentagon report that cast the Communist giant as "a major challenge" to America's interests in Asia. The assessment, known as a Nuclear Posture Review, mainly concerns U.S. nukes and missiles.
The document released on Friday by the Pentagon, known as the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), argues that developing smaller nuclear weapons would challenge that assumption.
The NPR states that both China and Russian Federation have "added new types of nuclear capabilities to their arsenals, increased the salience of nuclear forces in their strategies and plans, and engaged in increasingly aggressive behaviours, including in outer space and cyberspace".
Low-yield weapons are smaller, less powerful bombs with a strength below 20 kilotonnes.
The United States' so-called nuclear triad - the military's ability to launch and defend nuclear attacks with land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and air-launched cruise missiles - will remain critical to its nuclear deterrence strategy.
The report makes "wild guesses" about China's intentions and exaggerates the threat of its nuclear force, defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said in a statement.
It is the first time since 2010 that the USA military has outlined its perception of future nuclear threats.
Defense Ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang said "we hope the USA will abandon a Cold War mentality and earnestly shoulder its special and prior responsibility for its own nuclear disarmament".