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Cablegate: Track-1.5 China-U.S. Strategic Nuclear Dialogue

VZCZCXRO6717
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3097/01 3170125
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130125Z NOV 09 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6808
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 003097

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - ADDED SENSITIVE CAPTION

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR ISN, EAP, EAP/CM
PACOM FOR FPA PICCUTA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL PGOV MARR MNUC MASS CH
SUBJECT: TRACK-1.5 CHINA-U.S. STRATEGIC NUCLEAR DIALOGUE

BEIJING 00003097 001.2 OF 003


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In recent bilateral track-1.5 discussions
on strategic nuclear issues, several themes emerged,
particularly with respect to PRC concerns regarding the
direction of U.S. nuclear strategy and policy: (1) China
wants "strategic reassurance" from the United States that
ballistic missile defense, militarization of outer space, and
conventional weapon precision strike capabilities will not be
pursued or deployed in a way that affects China's retaliatory
strike capability; (2) In the Chinese view, the PRC nuclear
strategic situation and strategy are appropriately
transparent given China's "No First Use" (NFU) policy and
relatively smaller nuclear stockpile, but pressure to be more
transparent will increase as the U.S. and Russia decrease
their nuclear stockpiles; and (3) many Chinese scholars see
the U.S. policy of extended deterrence as "Cold War thinking"
not in alignment with President Obama's vision of a nuclear
weapons-free world. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The fourth round of the track-1.5 China-U.S.
Strategic Nuclear Dialogue took place in Beijing November 2-3
under sponsorship of the MND/PLA-affiliated China Foundation
for International Strategic Studies (CFISS), the Pacific
Forum CSIS, the Institute for Defense Analyses and the RAND
Corporation. Leading Chinese and American scholars and
government officials in the disarmament and nonproliferation
fields participated (see para 12 for participation list).

NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW: WHAT CHINA HOPES TO SEE
--------------------------------------------- --

3. (SBU) Chinese scholars regularly referred to the ongoing
Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) in the United States as a litmus
test of the "seriousness" of President Obama's call for a
nuclear weapons-free world. The Chinese said that they hoped
there would be no mention of "targeting China" in the
document. Additionally, they would look for indications and
reassurances that ballistic missile defense in the Pacific
would be limited to targeting North Korea. Several Chinese
participants called for a public statement by the United
States "accepting a mutual state of vulnerability." U.S.
scholars responded that though such a state existed, and
would continue to exist, no U.S. leader would be willing to
endorse such a public statement.

NO FIRST USE: WE LIKE IT, YOU SHOULD TOO
----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Several Chinese participants extolled the "virtues"
of the No First Use (NFU) policy and called on the United
States to adopt the doctrine. Some Chinese indicated the
belief that the NFU was supported by traditional U.S. allies
in Asia. CFISS' Zhang Tuosheng asked how the United States
would respond to "Japan's desire" for the United States to
adopt an NFU policy. Center for Strategic and International
Security Studies Senior Advisor Linton Brooks responded that
there had been no such formal request by Japan and that many
in Japan actually opposed NFU because of its possible effect
on the deterrence value of the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

TRANSPARENCY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) U.S. and PRC scholars called for greater
transparency on the part of the other. Arms Control and
Disarmament Association Secretary General Li Hong asserted
that no country could be fully transparent about nuclear
issues and that each country would be more or less
transparent about particular aspects of its policy (e.g.,
numbers, technologies, etc.) based on the nuclear strategy
being employed. National Defense University Strategic
Studies Director General Zhu Chenghu suggested that the
United States was more transparent about nuclear capabilities
and less so about intentions, while China was the opposite.
Several U.S. participants called on China to demonstrate
greater transparency about nuclear capabilities, emphasizing
that doing so would be necessary for China to become a full
participant in future arms control talks with the United
States and Russia.

EXTENDED DETERRENCE: NOT IN ASIA PLEASE
---------------------------------------

6. (SBU) Several U.S. participants were surprised by the
fervor and frequency of Chinese criticism of the U.S. policy

BEIJING 00003097 002.2 OF 003


of extended deterrence. Several PRC participants claimed
that the policy was the major cause of proliferation and the
main reason North Korea had decided to pursue nuclear
weapons. Academy of Military Sciences Senior Colonel Yao
Yunzhu asserted that extended deterrence was "a legacy of
Cold War thinking," had "no nonproliferation effect," and
mainly served to "maintain alliances." Chinese participants
also claimed extended deterrence was in conflict with
President Obama's "Prague vision" of a nuclear weapons-free
world.

7. (SBU) Calling the extended deterrence policy a pillar of
U.S. and international security policy, ISN Office of
Strategic Transition Director Robert Gromoll asked whether
Chinese participants were asking for a worldwide revamping of
the extended deterrence policy, or only a regional reworking.
Yao Yunzhu clarified that China would like to have: (1)
removal of the nuclear portion of extended deterrence within
Asia; and (2) assurances from the United States that the
nuclear umbrella did not extend to Taiwan. She maintained
that the policy was "antagonistic and adversarial" and
"should be rejected if the United States was serious about a
nuclear weapons-free world."

MISSILE DEFENSE AND MUTUAL VULNERABILITY
----------------------------------------

8. (SBU) Chinese participants expressed firm opposition to
missile defense. China Academy of Engineering Physics Arms
Control Research Division Director Sun Xiangli said that the
continued development of U.S. ballistic missile defense
systems could lead to increases in the quantity of China's
ballistic missiles and "development of countermeasures,"
though it was at this point "premature to make those
decisions." Former President of the China Academy of
Engineering Physics Hu Side said China needed "reassurances"
about the scale of the U.S. planned missile defense network
and the technology that would be used for missile defense in
Asia so that China could be "confident of its counterattack
capabilities."

9. (SBU) President of Pacific Forum CSIS Ralph Cossa told the
Chinese that China's lack of transparency made it difficult
to address China's arguments, adding that some in the U.S.
were convinced that U.S. missile defense planning would have
no effect on China's opaque nuclear posture. CSISS' Brooks
asserted that most experts agreed that "ballistic missile
defense would not work against a large opponent," so the
United States "might as well get the political and practical
benefits" of a dialogue with China on missile defense.

SPACE, EEZ SURVEILLANCE AND PRECISION STRIKES
---------------------------------------------

10. (SBU) Chinese scholars outlined three other areas of
concern that influenced China's current nuclear strategic
policy: (1) the potential militarization of space; (2) U.S.
military surveillance in China's exclusive economic zone
(EEZ); and (3) the potential use of conventional weapons to
make preemptive precision strikes against nuclear forces.
AMS Senior Colonel Yao maintained that "joint assurances"
under which "China and the United States would agree not to
use conventional weapons against each other's nuclear assets"
would allow Chinese academics "to stop discussing whether to
abandon NFU."

11. (SBU) Several Chinese argued that U.S. military
surveillance activity in China's EEZ was aimed at negating
China's SLBM survivability, thereby harming China's
retaliatory strike capability. Various American scholars
asserted that U.S. activities were in accordance with
international law, with one noting that Russian vessels had
operated in the U.S. EEZ for decades without complaint by the
United States.

PARTICIPANT LISTS
-----------------

12. (U) Chinese Participants:

Chen Zhiya, Secretary General, China Foundation for
International and Strategic Studies
Chen Zhou, Research Fellow, Academy of Military Science of PLA
Cheng Jingye, Director General, Department of Arms Control

BEIJING 00003097 003.2 OF 003


and Disarmament, MFA
Fan Jishe, Research Fellow, Institute of American Studies,
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Guan Youfei, Deputy Chief, Foreign Affairs Office, MND
Hu Side, Former President, China Academy of Engineering
Physics
Hu Yumin, Senior Research Fellow, China Institute for
International and Strategic Studies
Li Bin, Director of the Arms Control Program, Tsinghua
University
Li Hong, Secretary General, China Arms Control and
Disarmament Association
Lu Dehong, Director and Research Fellow, China Foundation for
International and Strategic Studies
Niu Qiang, Secretary General, Chinese People's Association
for Peace and Disarmament
Sun Haiyang, Professor, Second Artillery Commanding College
Sun Xiangli, Director, Arms Control Research Division, China
Academy of Engineering Physics
Teng Jianqun, Deputy Secretary General, China Arms Control
and Disarmament Association
Wu Jun, Deputy Director, Center for Strategic Studies, China
Academy of Engineering Physics
Xu Weidi, Senior Researcher, Institute of Strategic Studies,
National Defense University
Yao Yunzhu, Senior Research Fellow, Academy of Military
Sciences, PLA
Yang Mingjie, Vice President, China Institutes of
Contemporary International Relations
Zhu Chenghu, Director General, Strategic Studies Department,
National Defense University

U.S. Participants:

Larry Welch, Delegation Head, Institute for Defense Analyses
Linton Brooks, Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and
International Security Studies
Cynthia Carras, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, Office of
the Secretary of Defense
Ralph A. Cossa, President, Pacific Forum CSIS
Abraham Denmark, Fellow, Center for a New American Security
Lewis Dunn, Senior Vice President, Science Applications
International Corporation
Bates Gill, Director, Stockholm International Peace Research
Institute
Robert Gromoll, Director, Office of Strategic Transition,
ISN, Department of State
David Hamon, Deputy Director for Research and Studies,
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Eric Heginbotham, Political Scientist, RAND Corporation
Michael Kiefer, Director, Asia Portfolio, Defense Threat
Reduction Agency
Christopher Twomey, Director, Center for Contemporary
Conflict, Naval Postgraduate School
HUNTSMAN

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