The United States on Saturday pledged to keep its nuclear umbrellas for its allies in good shape, while China vowed against a nuclear arms race.

With the nuclear arms issue figuring in two different plenary sessions of the ongoing Asia Security Summit here, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates said allies and partners would continue to be covered under the doctrine of “extended deterrence”. Through conventional and nuclear capabilities, “we will extend [into the future] an umbrella of protection over our allies”.

On China's different nuclear posture, Ma Xiaotian, a top executive of the People's Liberation Army, said: “We have not participated in any nuclear arms race and will never do that in the future. We have the least number of nuclear experiments.” Consistent with security interests, nuclear transparency was being observed, said General Ma at the conference being organised by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

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