In this episode, Dr. David Santoro joins us to discuss the prospects for China joining a strategic nuclear dialogue, and what such a dialogue might achieve. Dr. Santoro maintains that China may be amenable to entering into bilateral talks with the US on strategic stability in the near term that could pave the way for trilateral nuclear talks with the US and Russia in the long run. He explains the challenges policymakers face in pulling China into an arms control agreement that aims at capping the number of Chinese nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Dr. Santoro also offers recommendations for how the US, China, and Russia can realistically make progress to narrow their differences on arms control going forward.
China is one of only nine countries that possess nuclear weapons. Although its nuclear arsenal is small relative to those of the United States and Russia, China is currently expanding and modernizing its nuclear forces. As China faces evolving security challenges, Beijing may also revise its primarily defensive nuclear strategy.