World IN BRIEF : CHINA : Beijing Welcomes Bush’s Initiative
China, one of the world’s five leading nuclear powers, welcomed President Bush’s initiative to reduce nuclear weapons but gave no sign of slashing its own arsenal. Western diplomats said they were struck by the length of time it took China to react and by the absence of any explicit statement of China’s own disarmament plans. “China is very cautious indeed about disarmament for themselves,” one diplomat said. Beijing in August announced that it would sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty unconditionally, the last major world power to do so.