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Issues & Insights Vol. 14 – No. 1 – 8th China-US Dialogue on Strategic Nuclear Dynamics

The China-US Dialogue on Strategic Nuclear Dynamics started as a joint effort in 2004 by the China Foundation for International Strategic Studies (CFISS) and the Pacific Forum. It aims to facilitate exchange and deepen understanding on nuclear policy related issues. The RAND Corporation and Center for Defense Analysis also co-sponsored a few sessions. In recent years, the Pacific Forum of Pacific Forum has been the US partner. The nature of the dialogue is defined as unofficial and “track1.5.” The dialogue has been going on for 10 years, providing a unique channel for sustained conversation between government and military officials and think tank experts from China and the United States, who have in the process gained better understanding of each other’s nuclear policies. It has also been attempting to set up steps toward official dialogue on nuclear-related issues. The 8th China-US Dialogue on Strategic Nuclear Dynamics was held in Beijing, China on Nov. 4-5, 2013. Some 85 Chinese and US experts, officials, military officers, and observers attended, all in their private capacity. The off-the-record discussions covered nuclear doctrine and force modernization, current nonproliferation challenges, missile defense, space cooperation, crisis management, and confidence-building measures, with break-out sessions on arms control verification and development of a space code of conduct. The US delegation also met with the Deputy Chief of the PLA General Staff Department, who expressed support for continued military-to-military dialogue, given high-level political support for such activity.