Russia said it’s working with China to counter U.S. plans to expand its missile-defense network, which the two nations see as targeting their military assets.

The upgrades aim to give Washington the ability to launch a nuclear strike “with impunity,” Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff said Tuesday at a security forum in Xiangshan, China, according to a transcript of his speech posted on the Defense Ministry’s website. The Asian neighbors this year conducted a joint missile-defense exercise of their computer command staff, he said.

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