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1ac Dialogue version

1ac Miscalculation Advantage

Current US policy toward China guarantees inevitable
tension and potential flashpoints for escalation.
Colby and Wu, 2016

(ELBRIDGE A. COLBY is the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American
Security WU Riqiang is an Associate Professor in the School of International Studies at Renmin
University in China, Seeking Strategic Stability for US China Relations in the Nuclear Domain,
The National Bureau of Asian Research, April 2016, doa 7/15/16,

Nuclear weapons are a crucial element in Sino-U.S. relations for the simple reason that they
could be brandished in a crisis or even used in a conflict between the
two most important nations in the world. The fact is that there are
significant sources of tension and disagreement between the
United States and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), and some of these
disputes appear to be, if anything, worsening. These include the status and
future of Taiwan, how to handle Pyongyang and the potential collapse of North
Korea and reunification of the Korean Peninsula, and territorial disputes between
China and U.S. ally Japan in the East China Sea and between China and
several Southeast Asian states, including U.S. ally the Philippines, in the South
China Sea. Beyond specific disputes and exacerbating factors, tensions between the
United States and China are likely to persist because of the security
consequences of a rising China. The study of international relations has long suggested
that such power transitions are especially fraught with the danger of
conflict for reasons having to do with concrete calculations of power and wealth, as well as more
ineffable factors of honor and pride.1 A rising nation usually expects to be granted greater influence and
respect in accordance with its growing stature, but nations that already possess that influence are
generally reluctant to part with it, especially if they do not trust the rising state. Hence, tensions can

The ideological incompatibility between Beijing and Washington

further intensifies the pressures generated by the basic structural
problems of how Chinas rise can be squared with both the United
States established position and the existing regional order Washington has
underwritten. At the same time, there is also a danger that the emerging
structural dynamics between the United States and China could
generate elements of a classic security dilemma, in which the actions one side

takes to increase its defensive strength are interpreted as hostile or threatening by the other side, thus

dynamic already exists to an extent in the arena of conventional
military competitionfor instance, Chinas conventional ballistic and cruise missile program,
eliciting a defensive response that the first side views as hostile or threatening. Some argue that

undertaken at least in part in response to improved U.S. conventional capabilities, is now leading to a
countervailing U.S. responsebut

such a dynamic has thus far had a limited

effect on U.S.-China nuclear dynamics.2 This is fortunate, as a security dilemma in
the nuclear realm would be destabilizing, intensify suspicions, and potentially raise the danger of conflict

the conditions do exist for such a

dynamic to develop.3 Chinese voices already claim that the expansion of
Chinas nuclear missile force is designed to compensate for
escalation. Some observers contend, however, that

advances in U.S.

ballistic missile defense (BMD), conventional prompt global strike, and

strategic strike capabilities.4 Some U.S. experts, meanwhile, point to Chinas expansion of its nuclear and
missile forces as proof of hostile intent and the need for improved U.S. capabilities.5 These factors do not
need to lead to conflictconventional or nuclearbetween the United States and China. In fact, several

singly and
especially together, these exacerbating tensions might lead to such
a result. Any war between the United States and China would be
incredibly dangerous and likely tremendously damaging, and nuclear
war between the two would be even more so. Even though the dayto-day likelihood of major war between the two nations appears to
be lowand the probability of nuclear war is even lowerits
appallingly high costs, dangers, and risks demand that active steps
be taken to make armed conflict more unlikely and less dangerous. For while the
economic and security factors may mitigate the possibility of a general conflict. But,

fact that China and the United States could come to blows does not mean that any conflict would result in

neither could nuclear use be confidently ruled out,

conflicts over apparently marginal issues canin ways that are not
entirely predictableescalate into conflicts over core interests. A war between the two
states would implicate broader considerations of prestige, alliance commitments, and broader
interests, and thus would be subject to strong escalatory impetuses . Moreover,
the use of nuclear weapons,
especially given that even

military-technological developments could further heighten the risk of escalationfor instance, due to the
increasing interconnectedness of the full range of military forces with cyber, space, and unmanned
systems. For these reasons,

it is incumbent on the United States and China to

work to mitigate the threat of such a conflict breaking out. This essay hopes
to contribute to this effort. It first diagnoses the current state of Sino-U.S. nuclear relations, beginning with
assessments of this issue from the standpoints of both the United States and China. It then identifies
potential areas of cooperation and agreement between the United States and China, proposes
recommendations for how the two sides can promote stability in mutually advantageous ways, and
identifies persisting points of disagreement.

The potential for escalation of these flashpoints directly

results from the absence of dialogue between the US and
First, Chinese nuclear doctrine ambiguity which is a direct
response to US posture increases risk of miscalculation
and arms racing
Cunningham and Fravel, 2015
(Fiona S. Cunningham, M. Taylor Fravel; Ph.D. candidate in the Department of
Political Science and member of the Secu- rity Studies Program at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. M. Taylor Fravel is Associate Professor
of Political Science and member of the Security Studies Program at the
Massachusetts Institute of Tech- nology. Assuring Assured Retaliation: China's
Nuclear Posture and U.S.-China Strategic Stability International Security,
Volume 40, Number 2, Fall 2015, accessed project use 7/12/16 ddi tm)
Although its limited ambiguity over its no-first-use posture allows
China to retain a relatively small arsenal while seeking to deter
conventional strikes on its nuclear facilities, this policy could
backfire. Limited ambiguity not only in- creases the risks of nuclear

escalation, a risk China appears willing to take given its relative

optimism about crisis stability, but it could also increase U.S.
suspicions that in a crisis China might abandon its no-first-use policy
alto- gether. These suspicions may further energize U.S.
development of the new triad and encourage U.S. planning for
conventional preemptive strikes on Chinas nuclear arsenal,
confirming Beijings fears that Washington seeks abso- lute security at its
expense. China may therefore find itself in the arms race that it
sought to avoid through limited ambiguity over no-first-use.

Second, signaling activities - In this environment, US and

China signaling activities are misinterpreted. This
increases the risk of miscalculation and inadvertent
escalation of conflicts.
Warden et al 2013
(John K., , Executive Director of the Working Group on U.S.-China Nuclear
Dynamics @ CSIS, Elbridge A. Colby, Abraham M. Denmark, Nuclear
Weapons and U.S. China Relations: A Way Forward, Center for Strategic and
International Studies, March 2013,,
Some of Chinas thinking on using its missile force to conduct deterrence
operations that send signals aimed at influencing an adversary also raises
the possibility of miscalculation or inadvertent escalation in a crisis or
conflict scenario. Miscalculation in the midst of a crisis is a particularly
troubling possibilityone that could be heightened by uncertainty
over the message that one side is trying to convey to the other or by
overconfidence in the ability to control escalation. 25 The most serious concern
is that some of the signaling activities described in Chinese
publications could easily be interpreted not as a demonstration of
resolve or as a warning, but as preparation to conduct actual nuclear
missile strikes, possibly decreasing crisis stability or even triggering
escalation rather than strengthening deterrence. Indeed, some Chinese sources
contain references that raise troubling questions about potential miscalculations that
could result from attempts to increase the intensity of deterrence
during a crisis or in the midst of a conventional conflict .26 Although Chinese
authors appear to demonstrate at least some awareness of the danger that actions intended to deter an

the discussions of these risks in the relevant

publications are quite limited.27
adversary could instead trigger escalation,

Increase nuclear dialogue is necessary to prevent

inevitable collapse of US-China relations that triggers
wars that leave both countries smoldering, radioactive

(Lawrence S., a Professor of History at SUNY Albany, Is a Nuclear

War With China Possible?, Huntington News,
Wittner 11

While nuclear weapons exist, there remains a danger that they will be used .
After all, for centuries national conflicts have led to wars, with nations employing
their deadliest weapons. The current deterioration of U.S. relations with China
might end up providing us with yet another example of this phenomenon. The
gathering tension between the United States and China is clear enough. Disturbed by
Chinas growing economic and military strength, the U.S. government recently challenged Chinas
claims in the South China Sea, increased the U.S. military presence in Australia, and
deepened U.S. military ties with other nations in the Pacific region . According to
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the United States was asserting our own position as a Pacific power. But need this lead to
nuclear war? Not necessarily. And yet, there are signs that it could . After all, both the
United States and China possess large numbers of nuclear weapons. The U.S.
government threatened to attack China with nuclear weapons during the
Korean War and, later, during the conflict over the future of Chinas offshore
islands, Quemoy and Matsu. In the midst of the latter confrontation, President Dwight Eisenhower declared publicly, and
chillingly, that U.S. nuclear weapons would be used just exactly as you would use a bullet or anything else. Of course, China didnt have
nuclear weapons then. Now that it does, perhaps the behavior of national leaders will be more temperate. But the loose nuclear threats of U.S.
and Soviet government officials during the Cold War, when both nations had vast nuclear arsenals, should convince us that, even as the

Some pundits argue that nuclear weapons

prevent wars between nuclear-armed nations; and, admittedly, there havent been very manyat least
not yet. But the Kargil War of 1999, between nuclear-armed India and nuclear-armed Pakistan,
should convince us that such wars can occur . Indeed, in that case, the conflict
almost slipped into a nuclear war. Pakistans foreign secretary threatened that, if the war escalated, his country
military ante is raised, nuclear saber-rattling persists.

felt free to use any weapon in its arsenal. During the conflict, Pakistan did move nuclear weapons toward its border, while India, it is claimed,

dont nuclear weapons deter a

nuclear attack? Do they? Obviously, NATO leaders didnt feel deterred, for,
throughout the Cold War, NATOs strategy was to respond to a Soviet
conventional military attack on Western Europe by launching a Western
nuclear attack on the nuclear-armed Soviet Union . Furthermore, if U.S. government
officials really believed that nuclear deterrence worked, they would not have
resorted to championing Star Wars and its modern variant, national missile defense. Why are these
vastly expensiveand probably unworkablemilitary defense systems needed if other
nuclear powers are deterred from attacking by U.S. nuclear might ? Of course, the
bottom line for those Americans convinced that nuclear weapons safeguard
them from a Chinese nuclear attack might be that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is
far greater than its Chinese counterpart. Today, it is estimated that the U.S. government possesses over five
readied its own nuclear missiles for an attack on Pakistan. At the least, though,

thousand nuclear warheads, while the Chinese government has a total inventory of roughly three hundred. Moreover, only about forty of these
Chinese nuclear weapons can reach the United States. Surely the United States would win any nuclear war with China. But what would that

A nuclear attack by China would immediately slaughter at least 10

million Americans in a great storm of blast and fire, while leaving many more dying horribly of sickness and radiation
poisoning. The Chinese death toll in a nuclear war would be far higher. Both
nations would be reduced to smoldering, radioactive wastelands. Also,
victory entail?

radioactive debris sent aloft by the nuclear explosions would blot out the sun
and bring on a nuclear winter around the globedestroying agriculture,
creating worldwide famine, and generating chaos and destruction. Moreover, in another
decade the extent of this catastrophe would be far worse. The Chinese government is currently
expanding its nuclear arsenal, and by the year 2020 it is expected to more
than double its number of nuclear weapons that can hit the United States.
The U.S. government, in turn, has plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars
modernizing its nuclear weapons and nuclear production facilities over the next decade. To avert the
enormous disaster of a U.S.-China nuclear war , there are two obvious actions that can be taken. The
first is to get rid of nuclear weapons, as the nuclear powers have agreed to do but thus far have resisted doing. The second, conducted while

improve U.S.-China relations. If the American and

Chinese people are interested in ensuring their survival and that of the world,
they should be working to encourage these policies.
the nuclear disarmament process is occurring, is to

Must address risk of conflict cost and escalation

Warden et al 2013
(John K., , Executive Director of the Working Group on U.S.-China Nuclear
Dynamics @ CSIS, Elbridge A. Colby, Abraham M. Denmark, Nuclear
Weapons and U.S. China Relations: A Way Forward, Center for Strategic and
International Studies, March 2013,,
Considerations of U.S.-China nuclear relations would be a largely
academic exercise without the serious risk of conflict and tension
those relations entail. Unfortunately, the significant sources of
tension and disagreement between the United States and China
could, in the worst case, lead to conflict because a number of these
disputes center on highly valued interests for Washington and
Beijing and could be exacerbated by third parties, by
miscommunication and miscalculation, by domestic political
pressures, and by the perceived need to save face.10 Moreover, few
of these disputes appear likely to be resolved definitively in the near term.
Beyond disputes, there is also the simple geopolitical reality of the
rise of a new great power in the arena of a well-established status
quo power. From time immemorial, this reality has proved to be a
source of tension and competition among nationsand has often led
to war. A large-scale conventional war between the United States
and China would be incredibly dangerous and destructive, and
nuclear war between the two countries would be devastating for all
involved. Even though the likelihood of conventional war between
the two nations is currently lowand the probability of nuclear war
is even lowerthe appallingly high costs, dangers, and risks of a war
demand that this risk be taken seriously and that steps be taken to
render armed conflict more unlikely and less dangerous. The fact that
China and the United States could come to blows does not mean that any
conflict would result in the use of nuclear weapons, but it also does not

mean that the use of nuclear weapons can be confidently ruled out,
especially because even conflicts over apparently marginal issues
canin ways that are not entirely predictable in advanceescalate into
conflicts over core interests. For these reasons, perhaps the single most
important task of American statecraft in the coming century will be managing
Chinas rise in a way that preserves peace while also defending important
U.S. interests.

The plan solves engagement through dialogue is key to

prevent miscalc and escalation through clarifying intent,
redlines, and signs of escalation
Colby and Wu, 2016
(ELBRIDGE A. COLBY is the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American
Security WU Riqiang is an Associate Professor in the School of International Studies at Renmin
University in China, Seeking Strategic Stability for US China Relations in the Nuclear Domain,
The National Bureau of Asian Research, April 2016, doa 7/15/16,

the United States is keenly interested in the evolving

nuclear dynamics with China, and is likely to become more so. In light of these factors,
the United States has a particularly significant interest in pursuing
bilateral engagement on nuclear weapons issues with China . The
United States and its allies benefit in numerous ways from the relative
restraint that China has exhibited in its nuclear policy , both in terms of how
For all these reasons,

Beijing states that it would employ its nuclear forces and in terms of their size, sophistication, and

will increasingly have the choice of greatly expanding its nuclear
forces, improving their capability, and broadening their role in the PRCs national security strategy.
The United States ultimately cannot realistically prevent Beijing
from pursuing such a course should it decide to do so , but in
cooperation with its allies, the United States may be able to
persuade Beijing that it is not in Chinas interests to markedly
expand its nuclear forces or broaden the role of nuclear weapons in its planning and
strategy. The United States also benefits from engagement with China
(and vice versa), as such engagement can help improve
understanding of the other sides red lines, understandings of
escalation, and the like, thereby mitigating the possibility of
inadvertent escalation or miscalculation. Enhancing constructive
cooperation with China on bilateral nuclear weapons issues is therefore
a significant security interest of the United States over the long term .
diversity. Yet as Chinas economy continues to grow and its military continues to modernize,

As Chinas strategic options expand and some of its strategists consider a shift away from its legacy
approach to nuclear policy and strategysuch as the no-first-use policythe United States should
encourage Chinas continued restraint vis--vis nuclear force size, posture, strategy, and policy. U.S. acts
of restraint that could plausibly contribute to Chinese restraint should therefore be seriously considered
by Washington if they contribute to this goal. Conversely, actions that prompt China to build up its
forces, especially without a compensatory strategic gain in other respects, should be viewed more
skeptically. Needless to say, the United States will need to make decisions about its strategic capabilities
based on the totality of considerations and will indubitably need to make, and indeed should make,
decisions that aggravate Beijing. To the extent possible, however,

the United States should

seek at least to minimize policies, particularly those without

substantial strategic benefit, that would inflame Chinese anxieties
and drive Beijing to adopt a more expansionist and destabilizing approach to its nuclear posture.

1ac Chinese Nuclear

modernization Advantage
US nuclear policy and statements is the key internal link
to Chinese arsenal modernization and expansion
Colby and Wu, 2016

(ELBRIDGE A. COLBY is the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American
Security WU Riqiang is an Associate Professor in the School of International Studies at Renmin
University in China, Seeking Strategic Stability for US China Relations in the Nuclear Domain,
The National Bureau of Asian Research, April 2016, doa 7/15/16,

U.S. policies will play an important role in Beijings decisions on

these issues because Chinas nuclear strategy and policy have been
and will be shaped by the United States. Indeed, although other
countries such as India and Russia play a role, Chinese strategists
regularly cite U.S. strategic capabilities and authoritative U.S.
government statements as a prime motivator for the qualitative and
quantitative expansion of Chinas nuclear force.18 It is therefore in
the U.S. interest to pursue an agenda for engagement on nuclear
weapons issues with China that reinforces Beijings continued
adherence to a nuclear policy of relative restraint.

The current strategic environment means Japan warily

watching Chinese modernization and US China relations.
These arent alt causes to the aff theyre a reason
continued Chinese nuclear modernization and expansion
lead to Japanese nuclearization
Samuels and Schoff, 2015

(Richard J. Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science and

Director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, and James L. Schoff, a Senior Associate in the Asia Program at
the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, "Japan's Nuclear Hedge:
Beyond Allergy and Breakout", Political Science Quarterly Fall 2015, Wiley
Online Library, Accessed 7-15 DDI-TM)
Despite shifting threat perceptions among Japanese policymakers,
Tokyos level of confidence in U.S. security guarantees remains high
as a result of the Obama administrations emphasis on diplomatic
and military investments in Asia, Washingtons bipartisan emphasis
on the importance of alliances, and robust U.S. support for Japan
during the tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011. In the medium term,
however, Japanese strategists are closely watching the U.S. response to Sino-Japanese confrontation in the East China Sea over

the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. For many, this is a representative or test

case of the United States capacity and determination to deter
Chinese aggres-sion.73 Moreover, a nearly 20 percent drop in U.S.
defense spending from 2010 to 2015 and congressional resistance to
funding base realign-ment plans in the Asia -Pacific raise doubts for
some in Japan about U.S. staying power in the region over the long
term.74 Thus, while there is no imminent loss of confidence, certain
trends are unsettling to the leader-ship in Tokyo. One of these
trends is the decline in the qualitative advantage that the allies have
traditionally held over Chinas armed forces. As one analyst opined, if
the U.S.-China military balance in East Asia reaches parity, then the
credibility of the U.S. nuclear umbrella will be gravely shaken.75On
this view, Chinese and North Korean nuclear force modernization programs will exacerbate the decoupling problem for Japan. But such
mod-ernization could also accelerate U.S. rethinking of a possible Japanese
breakout. Although a decision by Japan to acquire nuclear weapons
may not be in the United States current interest, Washingtons
ability and willingness to prevent it would wane over time if Chinas
capabilities were to continue to expand and especially if North
Koreas status as a nuclear power were to become a normal part of
the strategic environment in Asia. Under such conditions, Japans
desire for nuclear weapons would appear more reasonable and
harder to counter.76

A decision by Japanese to acquire nuclear weapons risks

nuclear war
Cimbala 15

(Stephen J. Cimbala professor of Political Science, Penn State Brandywine.

Nuclear Weapons and Anticipatory Attacks: Implications for Russia and the
United States, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies Vol 28 issue 1; 16 March
2015, Taylor and Francis)
The spread of nuclear weapons in Asia (including those parts of the Middle East with
geostrategic proximity or reach into Asia) presents a complicated mosaic of
possibilities in this regard. States with nuclear forces of variable force
structure, operational experience, and command-control systems will be
thrown into a matrix of complex political, social, and cultural cross-currents
contributory to the possibility of war . In addition to the existing nuclear powers in
Asia, others may seek nuclear weapons if they feel threatened by
regional rivals or hostile alliances. Containment of nuclear proliferation in Asia is a desirable political
objective for all of the obvious reasons. Nevertheless , the present century is unlikely to
see the nuclear hesitancy or risk aversion that marked the Cold War, in part
because the military and political discipline imposed by the Cold War
superpowers no longer exists but also because states in Asia have new
aspirations for regional or global respect.6 The spread of ballistic
missiles and other nuclear-capable delivery systems in Asia, or in the

is especially dangerous because plausible

adversaries live close together and are already engaged in ongoing disputes
Middle East with reach into Asia,

about territory or other issues. The Cold War Americans and Soviets required missiles and airborne delivery
systems of intercontinental range to strike at one anothers vitals, but short-range ballistic missiles or
fighter-bombers suffice for India and Pakistan to launch attacks at one another with potentially strategic
effects. China shares borders with Russia, North Korea, India, and Pakistan; Russia, with China and North

The short flight

times of ballistic missiles between the cities or military forces of contiguous states means
that very little time will be available for warning and attack assessment by the
defender. Conventionally armed missiles could easily be mistaken for a
tactical nuclear first use. Fighter-bombers appearing over the horizon could just as easily be
Korea; India, with Pakistan and China; Pakistan, with India and China; and so on.

carrying nuclear weapons as conventional ordnance. In addition to the challenges posed by shorter flight

potential victims of nuclear attack in Asia may also

have first-strike vulnerable forces and command-control systems
that increase decision pressures for rapid, and possibly mistaken,
retaliation. This potpourri of possibilities challenges conventional wisdom
about nuclear deterrence and proliferation on the part of policy makers and
academic theorists. For policy makers in the United States and NATO, spreading nuclear
and other weapons of mass destruction in Asia could profoundly shift the
geopolitics of mass destruction from a European center of gravity (in the 20th century) to an
Asian and/or Middle Eastern center of gravity (in the present century).7 This would profoundly
shake up prognostications to the effect that wars of mass destruction are now
pass, on account of the emergence of the Revolution in Military Affairs and its encouragement of
information-based warfare.8 Together with this, there has emerged the argument that
large-scale war between states or coalitions of states, as opposed to
varieties of unconventional warfare and failed states, are exceptional and potentially
times and uncertain weapons loads,

obsolete .9 The spread of WMD and ballistic missiles in Asia could

overturn these expectations for the obsolescence or marginalization
of major interstate warfare .

For theorists, the argument that the spread of nuclear

weapons might be fully compatible with international stability, and perhaps even supportive of

Theorists optimistic about

the ability of the international order to accommodate the
proliferation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems in the present
century have made several plausible arguments based on
international systems and deterrence theory. First, nuclear weapons may make
international security, may be less sustainable than hitherto.10

states more risk averse as opposed to risk acceptant, with regard to brandishing military power in support
of foreign policy objectives. Second, if states nuclear forces are second-strike survivable, they contribute
to reduced fears of surprise attack. Third, the motives of states with respect to the existing international
order are crucial. Revisionists will seek to use nuclear weapons to overturn the existing balance of power;
status quo-oriented states will use nuclear forces to support the existing distribution of power, and

arguments, for a less alarmist view of nuclear proliferation, take comfort from the history
of nuclear policy in the first nuclear age roughly corresponding to the Cold
War.11 Pessimists who predicted that some 30 or more states might have nuclear weapons by the end of
the century were proved wrong. However, the Cold War is a dubious precedent for
the control of nuclear weapons spread outside of Europe . The military and
security agenda of the Cold War was dominated by the United States and the
therefore slow and peaceful change, as opposed to sudden and radical power transitions.

Soviet Unionespecially with regard to nuclear weapons. Ideas about mutual

deterrence based on second-strike capability and the deterrence rationality
according to American or allied Western concepts might be inaccurate
guides to the avoidance of war elsewhere .12 In addition, powers favoring nuclear
containment in general may fall short of disagreement in specific political cases. As Patrick M. Morgan has
noted, there is insufficient agreement among states on how serious it (nuclear proliferation) is and on
what to do about it.13

Thus the plan,

The United States should engage in strategic dialogue
with the Peoples Republic of China for the purpose of
greater transparency and focused on strategic stability of
nuclear weapons, nuclear force posture and nuclear
doctrine. Well clarify.

1ac Solvency
Even if China says no, US should initiate dialogue to advance its strong international position
and enhance transparency, solving the uncertainty of the status quo
Colby and Wu 16 (Elbridge, Wu, April, Seeking Strategic Stability for U.S.-China Relations in
the Nuclear Domain, The National Bureau of Asian Research, April 2016 D.O.A 7/12/16 // DDI

the United States should actively pursue both informal and

formal means to reinforce restraint in Chinas nuclear decision-making and
promote strategic stability through bilateral and unilateral initiatives, while
putting the United States in an improved strategic position even if Beijing is reluctant to
pursue enhanced engagement on nuclear weapons issues. In this vein, the United States should pursue a
substantial but realistically tailored program of engagement and dialogue on
nuclear issues that reinforces Chinese nuclear restraint and advances U.S.
interests in stability, dialogue, transparency, and progress toward arms
control. Recognizing, however, the limited success that attempts at dialogue and cooperation have thus far yielded and Beijings
consistent unwillingness to engage meaningfully on these issues, the United States should pursue this
approach in a way that, should Beijing refuse to engage, Washington would
be left with a powerful strategic capability and in the strong international
political position of having proffered a serious and fair-minded path forward in
bilateral nuclear weapons relations that China had rebuffed.
Despite these difficulties,

Nuclear Dialouge between China and the US solves

Relations, Miscalculation and War
Colby and Wu, 2016
(ELBRIDGE A. COLBY is the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American
Security WU Riqiang is an Associate Professor in the School of International Studies at Renmin
University in China, Seeking Strategic Stability for US China Relations in the Nuclear Domain,
The National Bureau of Asian Research, April 2016, doa 7/15/16,

Nuclear weapons play an important role in Sino-U.S. relations. In

light of changing strategic dynamics and the potential for deeper
competition between China and the U.S., that role could grow. While

the two sides differ on a range of issues and in their perspectives on the appropriate role of strategic

both countries profit from intelligent and constructive

interaction on strategic matters and would benefit from deeper and
more focused engagement grounded in a stability model. In particular, such
engagement could help diminish the chances that relations
deteriorate or even of crisis or conflict due to essentially mistaken,
misperceived, or accidental causes. Given the consequences of a substantial deterioration in
relations, let alone the outbreak of war, it is important and of common benefit for the
two states to pursue such initiatives. POLICY IMPLICATIONS The U.S. and China
should base their relations in the nuclear weapons domain on the concept of strategic stability. The
U.S. and China should focus dialogue on eliciting greater insight into
how the other thinks about the role and potential use of nuclear
weapons, its red lines, its perception of vital interests, its conception of escalation,

and related topics. The U.S. and China should pursue a range of specific
initiatives focused on developing agreed-upon concepts of and frameworks for
strategic stability, enabling the two sides to demonstrate that their military programs are
consistent with such frameworks, and generating mechanisms to help avoid
accidental escalation and de-escalate crises if they arise.

Dialogue working group focused on information sharing

and standard operating procedure transparency solves
Colby and Wu, 2016
(ELBRIDGE A. COLBY is the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American
Security WU Riqiang is an Associate Professor in the School of International Studies at Renmin
University in China, Seeking Strategic Stability for US China Relations in the Nuclear Domain,
The National Bureau of Asian Research, April 2016, doa 7/15/16,

The United States and China should engage in dialogues designed

to elicit greater insight into how the other thinks about the role and
potential use of nuclear weapons, its red lines and perception of its vital interests, its conception
of escalation, and related topics. Both sides could gain a firmer understanding of
the others views on these subjects, which could help minimize the
possibility of escalation, especially inadvertent escalation, in a crisis or conflict. For
instance, a working group could be tasked to agree on channels of
communication, the relative authoritativeness of these channels, and the meaning of military
actions. It could also help both sides understand the others standard
operating procedures, which could be misinterpreted in a crisis.52 In
addition, responsible officials would have the opportunity to explain
directly to their counterparts their governments official thinking on these
matters. Given that miscalculation or misunderstanding of the other countrys red lines is regarded as
a more plausible pathway toward Sino-U.S. conflict, such dialogue would be highly
constructive for minimizing the chances of such a disastrous
outcome. The two countries should also focus on exploring
mechanisms for information exchange. While such exchanges can be structured
through formal mechanisms such as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START and New START)

information can be productively

exchanged through less formal dialogues. The U.S. side has delivered briefings on
between the United States and Russia,

why it views U.S. BMD as not posing a genuine threat to Chinas strategic deterrent, for instance. The
United States could continue to provide briefings on this topic, as well as on the implications of its
ongoing efforts to modernize its nuclear arsenal and develop conventional prompt global strike programs.
China, meanwhile, could provide a fuller explanation of its nuclear strategy and its approach to escalation
and could deliver briefings on some of its systems that pose concerns to the United States, such as antisatellite weapons capabilities.

We dont need to solve the number of weapons to win

deterrence becomes more effective if perceptions are
Colby and Wu, 2016

(ELBRIDGE A. COLBY is the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American
Security WU Riqiang is an Associate Professor in the School of International Studies at Renmin
University in China, Seeking Strategic Stability for US China Relations in the Nuclear Domain,
The National Bureau of Asian Research, April 2016, doa 7/15/16,

While Chinese and U.S. interests do not mirror one another, both
nations nonetheless have an interest in finding ways to cooperate
so as to reduce misunderstanding, the likelihood of miscalculation,
and ultimately the risk of war. In particular, the United States and China
would benefit from applying some of the concepts associated with
the idea of strategic stability as a framework for U.S.-China
engagement on nuclear weapons issues.49 Based on this concept, stability
can emerge between the United States and China if they each field
forces that are capable of surviving a first strike and are able to
credibly demonstrate to one another that their current and future
capabilities cannot deny the other side a viable strategic deterrent .
As a result, fear of preemption and the need to launch weapons
early become irrelevant, either as irritants in a crisis or as dangers
in conflict. In this way, the benefits of deterrence can be retained
while minimizing the chances of nuclear escalation. The premise of arms
control and stability-oriented measures is that even potential adversaries can achieve the twin goals of

This is relevant
because nuclear forces themselves can intensify, if not cause,
competition and even conflictbut they need not. Nuclear
sustaining effective nuclear deterrence and mitigating the possibility of conflict.50

deterrence is not simply a unilateral action that takes place in a

vacuum; rather, it is a relationship shaped by perceptions. Indeed, the
ways in which a country procures, postures, and operates its nuclear
forces have a major interactive effect on how other countries
procure, posture, and operate their forces. Potential adversaries
can allay, and possibly even remove, these exacerbating factors
through unilateral and cooperative measures that effectively
demonstrate that each sides strategic forces are not capable of
conducting a disarming first strike or capable of defeating a
retaliatory strike. Although such measures do not solve more fundamental political and
strategic disputes, they can help lessen tensions and mistrust due to
essentially ancillary technical features of interstate relations.