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Russia, China Lash Out at U.S. Over Flag Stunt at Nuclear Talks

  • U.S. envoy taunts Beijing by tweeting ‘no show’ flag photo
  • Billingslea later calls the first day of talks ‘very positive’
Marshall Billingslea
Marshall BillingsleaPhotographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg
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Russia and China criticized the U.S. after its chief arms-control negotiator sought to embarrass Beijing by posting a photo of Chinese flags and empty chairs for delegates who weren’t scheduled to attend talks aimed at rescuing a key nuclear treaty.

“Vienna talks about to start. China is a no-show,” Marshall Billingslea wrote in a tweet sent before the scheduled talks with Russia began on Monday. “Beijing still hiding behind GreatWallofSecrecy on its crash nuclear build-up, and so many other things. We will proceed with Russia, notwithstanding.”