Russia's suspension of its last remaining nuclear weapons treaty with the United States may have dashed any hopes of dragging China to the table to start talking about its own rapidly accelerating nuclear arms programs.

Regional diplomats and security analysts had held out the prospect of China somehow being convinced to join U.S.-Russian talks on extending the New START arms control treaty ahead of its expiry in 2026 as a way of alleviating growing fears over Beijing's rapid military modernization.

China's nuclear arsenal sits at the core of those concerns as it grows in size and sophistication — an expansion that the United States recently noted is now gathering pace.