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PacNet #5 – Transparency with Chinese Characteristics

On Jan. 9 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates traveled to China in a bid to revitalize dialogue on military-to-military relations that broke off after the United States announced a multibillion-dollar arms package sale to Taiwan. One of the issues that the US has unsuccessfully tried to engage China in the past is transparency of China’s nuclear arsenal. With New START ratified by the Senate and an upcoming ratification of the treaty by the Russian Duma, it is crucial to consider next steps in nuclear reductions and gradual multilateralization of the disarmament process. And while the larger process of disarmament would benefit from increased Chinese transparency, there is little doubt that China would gain as well.