As China accelerates its nuclear arms race, the United States wants to talk

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That is what Mr. At the center of Sullivan’s first concern seemed to be: the establishment of a relationship between the two armies that the United States and Russia have had for decades. (He avoided using the word “nuclear” in his speech, reflecting on how space, cyber weapons and other high technology should be part of the conversation, say Mr Biden’s senior aides.)

At Capitol Hill, the conversation so far has been about fitting Chinese investment, rather than reconsidering the nature of the arms race.

“I’m very worried,” Rose Cottemர்ller, an arms control officer at several administrations now teaching at Stanford University, said in an interview. “What worries me is the autonomy of actions – without guessing whether more nuclear weapons and more missile defenses are a better option.”

Mr. Xi and Mr. Biden said U.S. officials agreed to further talks – but were not sure how deep they would go. Asked if the talks would include the topic of arms control, the National Security Council said in a statement, “No. What we are looking for – and as Jack Sullivan spoke – conversations with authorized speakers about “guards to reduce risk” or the possibility of miscalculation.

The history of those conversations is not encouraging. Over the years, across several administrations, the United States has sought to talk to Chinese officials about how to secure nuclear weapons in North Korea if the country collapses. The effort was aimed at preventing clashes between Chinese, South Korean and US forces seeking to find and protect loose weapons. The Chinese have always rejected it for fear of getting caught up in talking about the possibility of a fall in the north.

Many arms control experts say China’s creation was triggered by ground-based organizations in California, Alaska, Guam and South Korea, and the deployment of U.S. missile defenses on patrol vessels in Japan and Korea in the Pacific. Peninsula. The United States has always insisted that these systems were designed to prevent North Korea. But the Chinese government has long been concerned that North Korea’s nuclear program provides a convenient reason for the United States to build a system with Chinese nuclear weapons.

China and the United States have not engaged in a comprehensive discussion on missile defense in the Pacific. But the hypersonic test could force the problem, say independent experts, as it becomes clear that Beijing’s ambitions are expanding.

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