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» October 18, 2011
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Promoting Effective China-U.S. Strategic Nuclear Dialogue

Li Bin | Carnegie Commentary

Hu Jintao and Barack Obama

Since the late 1980s, the United States and China have pursued strategic nuclear dialogues at various levels, ranging from track I government-to-government negotiations to track II exchanges among non-governmental security experts.

Strategic nuclear dialogues between the two countries are important for stabilizing nuclear relations as they help clarify suspicions and build cooperation. The importance ofthese exchanges has been demonstrated several times, including during the negotiation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1994-1996 and at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in 1995. Despite this positive record, the two countries have evolving and diversified interests in the agendas and formats of these dialogues, a situation which requires careful management.

Currently, U.S. officials want more frequent and direct high-level military-to-military strategic nuclear dialogue between the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Chinese Second Artillery (SA), the branch of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) responsible for operating land-based nuclear and conventional missiles. But the SA has not been as active or forthcoming in strategic nuclear dialogues as DoD has wished even though the two have exchanged visits a few times in the last several years. It is important for the United States to consider why the SA has been a reluctant participant and how to promote a more effective dialogue with the Second Artillery.

Event: Making the U.S.-Chinese Nuclear Dialogue Effective
Speakers: Carnegie senior associate Dr. Li Bin and UCS senior analyst Dr. Gregory Kulacki.
Sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Please RSVP to Teri Grimwood at Space is limited.
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Produced twice weekly, Proliferation News provides a free summary of news and analysis on efforts to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons. Visit the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program website for further information and resources. Please send your comments and suggestions to the editor at

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