U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly plans to conduct a nuclear weapons test after China secretly conducted an exercise.
The bold move was discussed on May 15 at a meeting of US officials when several national security agencies accused both Beijing and Russia of conducting nuclear tests, it is reported.
An official told Washington Post that a potential nuclear test was “a very continuous conversation” and could be useful for future negotiations.
The US has pushed for tough negotiations with Russia and China and has agreed to a new agreement regulating nuclear stocks.
He told the Washington Post, “It would be an invitation to other nuclear-armed countries to follow suit.”
The US could use an underground complex in the state of New Mexico to check whether the weapons are still operating in a future conflict.
The development comes after Trump said he would take the US out of the Open Skies treaty.
His government told the allies on Thursday that it would withdraw from the treaty after it alleged that Russia had violated the pact.
As part of the deal, more than 30 countries were allowed to monitor military activities and conduct unarmed observation flights to other countries with sensor equipment.
Trump said the US withdrew to avoid conflict.
US officials have accused Russia of violating the treaty, but halted flights to a city believed to have deployed nuclear weapons by Vladimir Putin that could reach Europe.
Experts also fear that the increased tensions between the US and China could lead to a new Cold War.
Orville Schell, director of the Center on US-China Relations at the Asia Society, warns that the feud could escalate into a similar conflict between the US and its allies and the Soviet Union in the second half of the 20th century.
“We’re essentially at the beginning of a Cold War,” he told Business Insider.
“We are on a downward slide in something that is becoming increasingly hostile to China.”
He added that the impact of their interruption in relations will be “very serious” on the world economy.