Political Obstacles in the U.S.-China Nuclear Relationship
Wednesday, December 07, 2022 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm
E40-496, limited to MIT Community only
SSP Wednesday Seminar with speaker Tong Zhao, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Evidence shows that the main goal of China’s nuclear weapons today is no longer only to maintain nuclear-level stability with the United States but also to help achieve U.S.-China political stability. The new goal is broader and more ambiguous than the previous one, and creates new challenges for bilateral efforts to contain the risk of arms race and nuclear conflict. Technical-level factors can no longer fully explain the speed and scale of China’s current nuclear expansion and future efforts to maintain nuclear stability between Washington and Beijing may have to address the underlying political disagreements. This presentation analyzes the growing political obstacles that drive the U.S.-China nuclear escalation and offers thoughts on potential mitigating measures.