8th US-China Strategic Dialogue: "Common Strategic Interests & Building Strategic Stability"

June 9-10, 2014
Honolulu, Hawaii


Common Challenges and the Evolving Nuclear Strategic Environment
What are the main strategic issues on which the U.S. and China share common interests and face common challenges (with “strategic” centering on nuclear issues, but also extending beyond)? What are American and Chinese perceptions of recent developments in the regional and global strategic environment? What role do strategic nuclear issues play in the “new type of great power relations” framework? What are the chances for further nuclear arms reductions and what role could both sides play in improving these prospects?

Chair: Michael Glosny
US Presenter: Karl Eikenberry
PRC Presenter: Qian Lihua

Developments in Nuclear Modernization and Strategic Postures
What are the major developments in each side’s nuclear capabilities and strategic posture over the last five years? What continuities and changes do recent government and military reports (such as the QDR, Chinese Defense White Paper and 2013 edition of 战略学/Science of Strategy) contain on each side’s nuclear policy? What concerns and questions does each side have about the other’s nuclear posture and ongoing modernization? How does each side plan to incorporate non-nuclear strategic weapons, such as conventional hypersonic missiles, into their strategic posture? How does each side view SSBNs as serving strategic stability?

Chair: Chen Kai
1st PRC Presenter: Yao Yunzhu
2nd PRC Presenter: Zhu Chenghu
US Presenter: Brad Roberts

Managing Crises and Avoiding Escalation
If a serious crisis erupts, what factors in the U.S.-China context might challenge/undermine stability and increase the risk of escalation? How might the asymmetry of conventional and nuclear capabilities affect the likelihood of escalation? Are there actions that either side might take (especially in the nuclear domain) that could inadvertently make the other side fearful and increase the chances of strategic escalation? Are there aspects of both sides’ ongoing modernizations, both land and sea based, that might have a (positive or negative) effect on crisis stability? What actions can both sides take to prevent and limit escalation in a crisis?

Chair: Phillip Saunders
1st PRC Presenter: Xiang Ganghua
2nd PRC Presenter: Wu Riqiang
US Presenter: Avery Goldstein

Evolving Views on Missile Defense
What effect does each side believe its BMD will have on strategic stability? What does each side view the main drivers for and recent changes in America’s BMD system? Does the deployment of BMD systems signal anything about broader intentions? How much of a challenge do current or anticipated BMD capabilities pose for China’s strategic deterrence? Which current or future systems would pose the strongest threat to China’s deterrent capability? What actions could either side take to address the other’s concerns over BMD? What future developments are likely to lead each side to improve BMD capabilities?

Chair: Hu Yumin
1st PRC Presenter: Wu Riqiang
2nd PRC Presenter: Wu Chunsi
US Presenter: Dean Wilkening

Breakout Sessions: Confidence and Security Building Measures
US: Lew Dunn, Chris Ford, Phillip Saunders
PRC: Wu Chunsi, Fan Jishe, Han Hua

We will divide into three different small groups for a discussion of a few specific CSBMs that have been proposed during earlier dialogue meetings. The discussion will be facilitated by American and Chinese group leaders. The aim will be to summarize the discussion with a brief power point presentation made by the group leaders in the afternoon plenary session.

Plenary Session: Confidence and Security Building Measures
Presentations led by the breakout session co-chairs

In the plenary session, each breakout group will present the key points of agreement, disagreement, and new questions that emerged in their group’s discussion of specific CSBMs. We hope to be able to make recommendations to our governments on the feasibility, importance, and order of priority for these CSBMs.

Chair: Christopher Twomey

Implications and Ways Forward
NPS, Pacific Forum, CACDA, and Heads of Delegation