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tv   Discussion on Chinas Approach to Nuclear Weapons  CSPAN  May 9, 2016 3:27am-4:56am EDT

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economy here in the financial sector will be deeply involved. that will be an interesting topic for discussion, i think. if you will join me in thanking birgit -- [applause] makingou very much for this stopping your visit to washington. thank you so much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] center took a look at the types of benefits soldiers received and how the programs differ from those four civilians. that is live at 4 p.m. eastern on c-span. later in the day, look at the history of the federal reserve and what changes are needed at the agency as it continues to manage u.s. monetary policy.
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that is from the american enterprise institute, live at 5:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. next, we hear about china's nuclear weapons program and differing views between china and the u.s. on nuclear policy. this is one hour, 30 minutes. >> good morning. my name is bill burns. i'm the president of the carnegie endowment for international peace. it really is a pleasure to welcome all of you to what i think [no audio] program today. it is a great pleasure to welcome back to carnegie on our distinguished of people from carnegie. [no audio] formerly the director of the moscow center.
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[no audio] evan medeiros was a junior member -- fellow at carnegie and has gone on to do wonderful government, most recently as an advisor on asia. n now is the managing director of your asia group and also a nonresident senior scholar here at carnegie. to welcomeeasure back a wonderful colleague and friend, linton brooks. words many years ago, he has gone on to make and contributions to national security policy, not only at the white house, but at the parliament agency. negotiations --
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finally, it really is a pleasure to welcome a wonderful colleague whose article in arms control today is less december on chinese nuclear is the centerpiece of today's discussion of our panel. and his work over a number of years in bodies the very best that carnegie endowment offers as a global institution to the world. to all for coming today and i hope you will welcome our panelists. [applause] thank you very much everyone. medeiros and i will be moderating the session. these issues are near and dear to my heart. as someone that has worked on
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these issues at the carnegie endowment, and the arms control association, i was encouraged that arms control remains alive and well. , becauseimportantly the nuclear issues are ones that are central to big questions of strategic debility in the u.s.-china relationship. ony are ones that i worked when i was on the national security council. i am glad to see scholarship and activism on the issue continues today. we will begin with a presentation to outline the key issues outlined in his excellent article. and then some comments and reactions and we will get a conversation going and then open it up to your ideas and thoughts. : thank you. i am so honored to have this
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discussion today. to 2000, evan and i had a lot of discussions on this issue. and he was really a pioneer on this subject. today, i am so happy to explain to have this moderated by evan. explain howgoing to understand our nuclear policy issue. what is our nuclear philosophy are several ways to consider this subject. for many decades, china has kept a small nuclear force.
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theories on why china did so. one theory is that because china had limited resources and low-level technical support, china had to do so. is one theory. now, china has more resources and more technologies. everything was changed. that this was one theory. thater theory that -- is china chose this and a low alerting level was because the chinese believe that this is a good choice. and china made these calculations according to its own understanding of nuclear weapons. the research is really important
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for the international scholars to understand china's nuclear policy, and philosophy. it is also very important for the chinese scholars to have a public debate. two purposes what one is international and the other is a domestic purpose. explainasically i will the two issues on nuclear terminology in china and what is the chinese paradigm. i will begin with the nuclear terminology in china. of nuclear terms i want to explain include security and the safety. , security is about
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how to avoid an attack and safety is about how to avoid an -- naturald national disasters. in chinese, there is only one word. it includes the meanings of the two words. the consequences of the security and safety problems are very serious so we should treat them. we should use the same system. but here, in the united states, people treat the two issues separately. andear safety is one issue
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nuclear security is another issue. in china, we look at the similarities of the two issues. we should not decide one side. allows china to optimize its nuclear weapons system in the framework that is to treat safety on the nuclear issues at the same level. balance ine need a nuclear weapons. this would explain why china level ofhave a low
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readiness. reduceuld significantly safety problems. another group of words i would like to explain is nuclear deterrence and nuclear components. current and nuclear are two actions. compellance is to change the status quote and deterrence is to maintain the status quo. the definitions work very well for isolated conflicts. isolated, thens we can indeed tell the difference between deterrence
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and compellance. if the conflict comes from escalation, that is often the case. conflict may escalate to be a big conflict. in that case, it may not be easy to tell the difference between mpellance. itd co is difficult to determine who first. the status quo
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then, you can deter the conventional response of your enemy. in this case, there are two steps. the first step is that conventional is advancing. it tocond is that you use deter the conventional response of your enemy. if you look at only the second you are using deterrence. when you look at the combination of the two steps, first and second, then you change the status quo first. you are nuclear weapons are used to change the status quo. the chinese look at the outside of the issue and believe that compellance may
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not be distinguishable. china worries about the compelling effect of nuclear weapons. the third group of words i would -- it is always about the dilemma. you develop some nuclear weapons and you have your national security. insulted so iel may want to increase my number of nuclear weapons to respond to your increase. feel you haveould to do the same thing. that kind of dynamic is the reason for the nuclear arms race. that is the american idea. but the chinese perspective is
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very different. in china, people look at an arms race -- an arms race is about global hegemony. shownited states wants to that it is the world leader. side would want the other side to have more nuclear weapons. otherwise, their allies would not listen to them or respect them. this kind of dynamic encourages -- encouraged the united states and the soviet union to have more and more nuclear weapons. when the chinese talk about nuclear arms race, it is always about some kind of arms race. -- globalce even by hegemony.
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to notas a commitment have a nuclear arms race with any other country. this is my understanding. speak regarding nuclear parity with the united states but that does not suggest that china would exclude responses to a security dilemma. states were to develop a missile defense, and china feels like that is a threat to china. china would develop more nuclear weapons and would consider that an option as a response. this is not considered to be an arms race. nothing excludes that option. the going to explain chinese view of paradigm. that is a little different from the u.s. one. in the united states, scholars
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identified national security threats. is anal security threat enemy that has intentions to hurt the united states. if the enemy has the capability and the intention to hurt united states, this enemy is considered to be a big threat. this is a good paradigm. it is easy to use the paradigm and it is easy to understand the paradigm. but, in china, we have another paradigm. another analysis framework. that includes security challenges. it is set dangerous situation for china. .t is not an enemy
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taiwan --ns sale to this is a national security threat to china. the challenges and the origins may be inside or outside of china. why does the u.s. project -- were headheads -- warhead? the investment was so small. win veryect would little new continuity to the united states.
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the primary object was to targets inply buried various countries. according to the chinese muchigm, china worried so for important reasons. because a nuclear penetration d is aad -- warhea technical weapon. hurt the nuclear taboo against use of nuclear weapons. it would lower the bar of nuclear weapons use. that would hurt china's national
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interests, especially its commitment against use. for that reason, china worried. another consideration is technical issues. china always worries that other -- technical lagging. most chinese believe that would inviteging aggression by other countries. another -- a lot of chinese research seeks to understand new technologies. china has a plan -- china does not have a plan to deploy these technologies.
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the goal is to understand the new technologies. chinese believed the neutron bomb is the third generation nuclear weapons. -- first generation was the bomb. the second generation was the fusion bomb. totally newe technology for the third generation. scientists nuclear decided that the neutron bomb was not a third generation. it was a small hydrogen bomb. china decided not to deploy the neutron bomb. -- it is not not consistent with china's commitment. china'si will explain
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concerns over missile defense. there are two concerns in china. one is that the u.s. missile defense system would neutralize china's system. we can understand the chinese understanding the difference between the chinese paradigm and the u.s. paradigm. u.s.-china nuclear dialogue, we have had some discussions on these concerts. in china, there is another concern -- that is the development of missile defense in the united states would bring the u.s. a lot of new defense .echnologies and new ideas they may not be missile defense. they may be something else but they are new technologies. china worries that china would fall behind again.
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aboutis is a concern technical lagging. 1980's when we began to ,o research on missile defense the goal was to understand missile defense technology rather than deploy the system. because this concern is based on the chinese understanding of the paradigm. in the u.s.-china nuclear dialogue, we do not have much discussion on these concerns. here and ihould stop very much look forward to the comments of my colleagues. thank you. -- >> thank you.
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chinesehighlighting conceptions of security and safety, the difference between nuclear deterrence and compellance. -- the focus on security situations. that is fascinating. i would encourage folks to read the article. there is an additional issue in that there is a way that chinese equal weightiven to security concerns and economic concerns as they make national security decisions which i found to be a very fascinating insight. what we saw in his presentation of what an institution like carnegie cap reduce. how many other institutions can americansther both and chinese, government and nongovernment, to work on these kinds of complicated issues? with that, let me ask our other
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colleagues to provide their points of view. point out issues where you agree and disagree and talk about the implications for u.s.-china strategic stability and what this means for how the u.s. and china to talk about these issues going forward. >> thank you very much. i planned to talk about our interactions with the chinese on a government to government level. i will come to that in a moment. i was fascinated and took a number of notes of the point that li ben talked about on nuclear technology. the nuclear terms, security and safety. that is common with a number of languages. threat that working on reduction programs with countries where they do not distinguish between nuclear safety and nuclear security.
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it is a common problem around the world that we have had to confront. i very much welcome him drawing attention to the significant differences, different approaches to terminology can bring and that need to be teased out through discussion and debate. our governmentw community has taken a lot of criticism for improvising and in the last several years, focusing on the production of a clear cooperative. thought this was a time wasting exercise. i think his comments point to the important desk to the importance of this as a threshold matter of gaining an understanding of the similarities and the differences in this important area. only then, can you get into a sophisticated
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discussion of nuclear doctrine and strategy. i wanted to give a shout out at the beginning not only to li bin for highlighting this point but also to the chinese government that took the lead in the glossary project inside the p5 and has been driving it forward over the last few years. it is important. it is a threshold through which you have to pass to get to more serious discussions about nuclear strategy. it is also a critical foundation stone and you really have to have those kinds of discussions first and that understanding is very important. to come back to the main topic regarding our interactions with the chinese on nuclear policies. tasked0 nuclear posture the government community to ,roduce -- pursue higher level
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bilateral discussions with china and russia. mean thatthat strategic stability is a term that we use a lot. it is difficult to define especially when you're talking about the china and asian -- asia pacific environment. in the cold work, many saw stability as mutually assured discussion. a notion that the incentive to initiate nuclear attack. this characterization of strategic stability is ill-suited and to narrow to fully capture the strategic dynamic between the united states and china today. in today's world, strategic -- relativest be ounce of nuclear weapons and include other capabilities that can affect stability such as conventional strike and defenses.
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strategic stability must also include an understanding of the nonmilitary elements that relationshipir that has elements of both cooperation and competition. here is a point about economics being an important factor. i think evan for bringing that to our attention this morning. but discussion on strategic stability with china must account for the different nature of the relationship between the u.s. and china and how it differs from the relationship of the u.s. during the cold war. figuring out strategic stability with china and what it means is an ongoing process that involves u.s. and chinese experts in and out of government. as a government policymaker, i can tell you what strategic stability is not about in this context. we do not speak in these
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discussions to gain detailed insight into the operations and locations of china's nuclear forces. we like to have a conversation about nuclear policy and doctrine that enhances understanding and thereby contributes to predictability and stability by preventing strategic posteriors that fosters ambiguity and insecurity. it is also not a substitute for broader strategic discussions. broad strategic stability in the context of the nuclear posture with -- review would reduce the likelihood of inadvertent escalation, misperception, or miscalculation. in particular, during times of tension or crisis. developing the common understanding of strategic stability is important because it will help us to manage across the full range of strategic
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issues and for the u.s. provide a better understanding of china's threat perception and the role played by nuclear weapons in the chinese security strategy. i would say that we now have a more urgent issue to address because of china's long-term and comprehensive military modernization which includes its nuclear forces. for that reason, we are very keen to identify -- intensify its substance and and dig down deep on some of these topics. i will mention a few studies in which these discussions occur policy.plores nuclear in addition, i care of security with china's foreign ministry that addresses many of these issues as well as arms
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control, nonproliferation and disarmament matters. this seriesting in is happening next week on may 12. i am looking for to those discussions. to wrap up, i will say once again -- the glossary project. we are now seeking to enhance and enrich among the p5 the nuclear doctrine discussions. we are looking to do that in two ways. one is to re-intensify the discussions about -- among the academy of sciences. that chinese scientists group has for many years had very rich discussions on this matter. we would like to expand that to include all members in the p5. have national academies on the model of ours and others do not.
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there are some complexities to be worked out that we see a role for that scientist to scientist level of discussion. we would like to expand it to the p5 as a whole. we are also interested in p5 discussions per se on nuclear discussion and strategy that get thanmore intense level what we have accomplished up to this point. that is a goal for this coming here. with that, i will wrap up and i look forward to our discussion. an: >> so some full disclosure. i am not a china expert. i am a nuclear policy expert desperately looking to get a minor in u.s.-china relations. so i'm not going to comment
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directly on the accuracy of li characterization. first, it's a wonderful article and if you haven't read it you ought to read it and it's an important article. it is however an important article because with the greatest of respect to rose, it's not clear to the outside observer that the depth of discussion in li bin's 10-minute presentation is is matched by the depth and quality in the discussion of our official dialogue. and a number -- >> rose. >> a number of us look forward to the time when we can have our two governments begin that dialogue. academic
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discussions -- and dr. li and i are involved and some of the things rose mentioned -- are a substitute. but we ought not to misplace the fact that we need some time the to have in-depth discussions so that we can understand each other. because china, unlike the other members of the p-5, has a quite different conceptual basis for thinking about nuclear policy as li bin suggested. ome of you will say why did we spend time talking about terms. and i would argue terms matter. let me give you a very concrete
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example. security safety. i used to be part of the national nuclear security administration. it was our goal and we would have been willing to share a lot of u.s. knowledge, to improve the security of chinese nuclear weapons. for a variety of reasons, those dialogues didn't happen. but we would have been ready as we were ready, and have, shared knowledge of security of nuclear weapons with other states. had anybody suggested that we share safety information about nuclear weapons, people would have first spoken of the atomic energy act then taken away my security clearance and then put me in jail. so understanding that this enormously important
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distinction to us doesn't even exist in the chinese language is important. don't undervalue linguistic aspects. i would push back on one thing that li bin said. i think his intellectual discussion of deterrence and compelance was interesting and thoughtful and largely irrelevant because it is a fact of the last 70 years that the risk of conflict between nuclear armed states is such that we don't have conventional attacks on nuclear armed states. so whether or not a conventional attack, depending to our nuclear capability deter response is compelance of deterrence is theoretically interesting but it is not
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practical. and the historical evidence is that nonnuclear states are perfectly willing to attack nuclear armed states. vietnam, china, argentina, britain. china and the united states and korea when china was not a nuclear armed state. so i don't know if this deterrence compelance distinction is quite as important as it may seem. the second thing where i would push back -- and this is clearer in the article than it was in what li bin had time to say -- is this question of strategic stability. in the article it suggested that chinese scholars are coming to use the u.s. traditional definition of strategic stability. and i will simply say that has not been my experience and dialogue with them.
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the quite to the contrary, narrow definition, rose pointed out one of the dangers that strategic stability risks becoming a synonym for overall foreign policy. but if you take a narrower definition focusing on prevention of nuclear war, it is unclear that the chinese see that any of the strategic stability thinking in the united states built up between equals is relevant to a discussion between there. i think this is an important thing. i am on the public record as saying that the term strategic stability has outlived its usefulness in dialogue with china. and while we ought to have a dialogue that will lead to what i call strategic stability, it is not worth the effort to work on that term. but alternate views are possible. one of the things that was
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stressed in the article and stressed a little bit in the presentation is the question of transparency. an sparency got hijacked by erroneous belief that this administration and the previous administration wanted to know where are your forces and what time are they there and can i ke sure my gps targeting coordinates were set. that was neither what they meant. what we wanted to understand was what was the article about, how did the chinese think about nuclear weapons? i want to invite your attention to an important thing in the article that suggests that sometimes this transparency comes through the press. that chinese get asked a question and the answer shows
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up in the press. we don't tend to think of that as an authoritative way because our press is somewhat chaotic. that's a strength. but for this purpose it isn't. on the other hand, the chinese press -- at least some of it -- is more responsive to its government's desires. so i think we theed to pay a lot of attention to looking at what the chinese government chooses to put out publicly as a way to look at transparency. now, there are a lot of areas in which transparency would actorly help us, because it ould avoid overreaction. tech nick lagging in the term, the idea that being ip fearier in science and technology is a
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serious challenge, quite naturally, causes china to nvestigate lots of things. knowing only that they are investigating those things is consistent with technical lagging, but it's also consistent with those who have been waiting for the great chinese buildups parity. and if we had more transparency on what we were doing, that might help. other areas where greater transparency might help is hina's investment in sea-based strategic deterrent, whose relationship with the what is now called i think the pla strategic rocket forces or -- me. t clear, at least to
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and the actual purpose of the ssbm programs is not clear, at least to me. a discussion of how we both think about that would be an portant area or -- transparency as would a discussion about how we both think about the regional role. finally, in talking about arms race, i want to make a point, all discussions about arms race ook at the united states and another country. and what they fail to account for is the unique extended deterrence role of the united states. that leads many of us to believe that, second to none, is an important policy. not because the difference between 1500 and 1000 has any
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meaning in a large-scale nuclear war, but because it may have meaning to some of our allies in whether or not we're reliable. so i would urge my chinese colleagues, as i have in other fora, that seeking to prevent hedge money, is not the same thing as seeking hedge on my. the united states position for most of the last 30 years at least has not been to seek superiority so it can gain hedge omni but it has been to seek some kind of equivalence. we change the buzz word from administration to administration. but the idea is to make sure that particularly our allies are not under any illusion that e are an unreliable protector. finally, missile defense.
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we have jointly locked urselves into a corner where we will get the worst of both worlds. chinese reaction in the belief that we have deployed missile defense to threaten chinese forces, without a missile defense that actually would be particularly useful for that. and it does seem to me that some of the ideas that we have suggested for discussion with the russians on missile defense would be entirely suitable for china were we to have this rich government level dialogue that i am sort of advocating. but nothing i say should suggest that this isn't a very valuable and important article. and that you should look at it
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r how -- for how we can find ways to have a discussion. the understanding of concepts is the first level. i think that's the important strategic discussion to have. some of us have been working on that for a while and some of us will continue to. thank you. >> thank you very much. i think it's pretty clear that you have a minor in u.s.-china strategic study. so i would highly recommend that you begin looking at a double major because you're pretty close. so what i would like to do now is i'm going to ask questions of each of the presenters just to get all of our intellectual juices flowing. i ask the presenters to try and be brief. and then we're going to open it up for q&a. and hopefully we'll have a few minutes for that. so for li bin, given what you argue in the article, do you
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believe u.s. and chinese views are converging? in other words, clearly rose and lynnton understand the arguments you make tt article. do you think the communication gap between the u.s. and china are closing? and, if so, why do you think -- and here i'm asking purely your personal view. why is the chinese government, especially the pla so reluctant to having this dialogue? i worked for six years. i was in every possible -- almost every possible high-level meetings. the meetings we don't even admit existed. and it's very difficult to have a serious discussion about this? rose, it would be great to hear from you about how the administration thinks about missile defense in the u.s.-china context. because that's in the headlines
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these days, particularly in the beconsultation about this. and why do you think strategic ability is not the right focus for u.s.-china dialogue assuming it ever happens in this format? i remember when i was involved we would talk about arms race stability and nuclear stability as two ways of stability. is it a point of contact or the u.s. isn't up to having these conversations? i want to draw you out about what is not the right conversation. and then of course what is the right conversation? you talked about transparency. the chinese are very reluctant to have a conversation about transparency related to capability. so where should we take the conversation given those constraints so why don't we start with you.
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>> thank you. i personally like to see dialogue between the two countries. i have said many times, if they want to change their attitudes for some kind of nuclear dialogue, we like to pretend to -- willing to have them. but unfortunately we have not seen that yet. i don't think that this is because the positions of our two countries are somewhat different. that is not the main problem. the main problem is that we see china and we see the u.s. -- within, there is no consensus. in the united states, some eople like to see even a dialogue with china. some other people try to stop that.
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for example, rose will always have me and some other chinese nuclear experts to get a u.s. visa to come to the united states to have a dialogue. but some other people will try to stop that. and in china, some people they like to have dialogue, nuclear dialogues with the united states. some otherless say, look, they always want to get to know what we are thinking about. they never tell us what they are thinking about. so we should stay away from them. so in both countries we need some, still minimum level consensus. hat is mostly important. >> i would like to make a larger conceptual comment about missile defense in the u.s.-china context because it is the kind of discussion i would like to have with china about this matter, clearly.
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and lynnton was very astute in commenting if we were to build a missile defense system to undermine the chinese nuclear deterrence, we would go about it in a much different way in putting a system and some limited capabilities to deal with regional missile defense mission against regional threats. and i do want to stress again this capability is extremely limited. but we need to be able to make the case more clearly. and i think that does include with some convincing measures to convey that different to our chinese colleagues. but when i think about the conversation we need to have it is issile defense, ts the context of the intermeet range with missile defense in
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euro asia. we have beep grappling with this about the treaty, which is total bilateral ban between 500-5,000 kilometers that are ground based and we believe that the russians have tested a ry capable one that has been flown to the regionens banned by the treaty. this is the problem that the russians say themselves is across eurasia and it has been put about as the public rationale for why they should -- repeat it down. and president putin spoke about this when he went to crimea. he tuked about the general problem of intermediate range missile proliferation across eurasia as being a problem that the russians are grappling with. i would say yes we are grappling with a similar problem. it is a limited intermediate
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range missile threat. and we have chosen to respond to that limited threat from iran from north korea by deploying limited missile defenses. we are not eager to get into developing offensive capabilities that first of all would not comply with the ban on imf systems that we have with the russian federation. we don't want to build and deploy our own missiles as it would violate the treaty to which we are committed. but also, we feel we can tackle this problem with a limited missile defense system. so it's a way to think and talk about the proliferation of missiles across eurasia that is a discussion well worth having and one that i think we should pursue generally with countries in eurasia and not simply in the u.s.-china context. but it is a general issue.
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>> so why don't i like strategic stability. i like strategic stability. >> it just doesn't like you. >> what? >> i'm just kidding. >> i just think that the term and the definition of the term is so elastic that it makes it hard for us to focus on the kind of discussions that i want to have with china. make no mistake, when they write the history of the 20th century, the definitive history, it will be about the struggle against fascism and communism from the american perspective at least. when they write the history of the united states in the 21st century, it will be about how well we managed china's rise to global prominence, and whether we were able to do that without war.
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overall broadest terms, stability is a hugely important subject. and the nuclear part of it is a relatively small element. but i'm a nuclear guy and i want to talk about the nuclear thing because i don't want it to become a big element and make the management of relations harder. and i have just concluded that labeling i it strategic stability, like labeling it discussion transparency, is just not useful. it is not useful to say to china let's have a transparency discussion, because it triggers a belief -- erroneous but a believe that we're trying to not share anything and gain information. so let's look at the important topics where misunderstanding could be detrimental to both sides and have a discussion about that.
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and i don't care. the -- there are a handful of people old enough to remember, my friend used to say, call it banana, let's just talk about it. >> we have just about 30 minutes for q&a. so why don't folks put up their hands and we can go from there. start with this gentleman right here in the front. >> ok. >> we just ask that you introduce yourself and your affiliation before asking the question. >> thank you. i would just like to ask professor li a question. building on mr. brooks' commenths about the sea hch based deterrent. i would like to add about the multiple deterrent and why china is developed this. and i'm ben and i'm a blogger
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with the diplomat. the sea-based nuclear force is simple. i think there are two ideas behind. one, china wants the technology. second, china wants to have a credible nuclear deterrent. and the sea-based nuclear force would add some credit to terns.s nuclear de for mrv, i'm not sure. i don't believe that china has deployed one. but there's some calculations behind. i do not want my country to deploy this. the reason that if china deploys it, then china will be in a more dangerous race and
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or lose ld face this it. but my guess is that china ants to expand the technology, first. second, i believe that china as developed missile defense counter measures. and one of those counter decoys. is deploying ome people call decoys multiple war heads. but they're not. actually, one missile, one real war head. and many decoys. that does not change this. your s is my comment on
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question. >> thank you. we'll take -- right there back there in the corner. thank you. > thank you. visiting fellow from carnegie. my question is to the american panelists. this nuclear dialogue you view it as a process. and the american side also tries to make some distinction between foreign security threats and security challenges. so i wonder how well america responds to these two different -- respond to these two in different ways. will at kind of condition you think security challenge could transform to security threat?
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thank you. > over to you. >> i'm having a bit of a hard time grasping the question. but if i may, let me just say a few words about how we thought about these issues and the value of these discussions ring the cold war with the ussr. and it's both a cumulative process of developing understanding on both sides, i would say. it was -- again, i come back to a word, i like to stress the word mutual predictability as being a net benefit to stability -- strategic stability or stability, period. i think i will just say stability, period. so over time, although there was i think some body of
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concern shared between the thinking in beijing today and the thinking in moscow back in the 1960s and the 1970s. and then we really began to pick up pace in terms of these kind of discussions in the 1980s. but those concerns were dispelled over time by the benefits that accrued, particularly in the arena of mutual predictability. d over time that also led to assuaging concerns, although two countries like russia and the united states have large numbers of nuclear arms pointed at each other. you're never going to assuage the nuclear concerns completely. but at least it became, i think, an understanding over time that there is a stability in the deterrence of relationship between the two
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sides that was to a certain extent reassuring about the challenges that we face from the ussr and the russian federation, again, particularly not only opt nuclear front, but in terms of the alliance relationships overall. so it's a rather imperfect answer to your question. but i think my bottom line is -- there is i think seeking reassurances, there is a reassurance of the history hear of how the u.s. and the ussr were able to gain a large measure of understanding and predictability over time of such discussions. of course we also got into major nuclear disarmment efforts beginning into the 19 0s and stretching into the present day. that's a whole different topic that we are not talking about in this setting.
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but the other aspect i would say is that there was a relationship between our understanding on the nuclear front and our understanding again of the conventional standoff in the alliance relationship both in europe but also in asia as well with regard to russia. >> so rose correctly points out that transparency leads to predictability and predictability leads to stability no matter how you define stability that's true. so how does that play in to this distinction between security challenges and security threats? t plays into it by helping the -- to tates to the distinguish to make sure that china is doing. it's a feature of american
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society -- and the best example is the george w. bush administration in which i served. that if you don't tell people what your plans are, they will make it up. all right? everybody in this room believes that we were developing low-yield nuclear weapons in the bush administration. apparently done at the department of agriculture because i was running the nuclear weapons program and i wasn't doing it. but we didn't ever counter the narrative. so here's an example. china wants to understand submarine technology. and it has deployed the gin class type 094. but right now, that's a system that has no strategic rationale against the united states because it can't reach the united states except for areas in which i used to drive submarines for a living, it
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would be vulnerable. but it would be a marvelous weapon for coercing japan into saying no, you cannot allow u.s. ships to port call in the case of a taiwan contingency. so now i sit here, i have a perfectly internally consistent explanation for what china is doing. it's almost certainly wrong. but absent a discussion about how china is thinking about that. i'm going believe or the me -- version of me that is in the government is going to believe it, because you sort of pay those of us who are in the government to look out for the possibility of threats and do something about it. li bin's security challenge unexplained becomes my security
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threat. and that is the linkage between the two, why the distinction is so important. nd yet another reason why some in-depth dialogue between ople with authority within their governments is in the interest of both countries. > i note that when the questioning about china is a reat came out, to american colleagues. what's that threat? things about this. 1980s, or example, in the americans asked chinese scientists, who is your national nuclear threat when you develop your missile defense technology? the chinese scientists would
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have the same reaction. what is that? that's because at that time china and the united states were friends. he chinese missile defense program was aimed to missile defense technology, rather than to conquer any similar strategy. so these are the very good examples of how we have problems or complications and the very strong response to linten's point that china's nuclear submarine is good for coercing japan. my response is that if china wants to use this for nuclear deterrence vis-a-vis the united states, china has to go step by step to extend the range.
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hina cannot jump from 0 to 0,000. >> i'm hank. i spent 54 years in defense including three years in the .s. navy where i was off a huge u.s. fleet in 1958. but i also spent in my 28 years in the office of secretary of defense almost 13 years intensively engaged in nuclear weapons. i have a question at the end here but i just wanted to know. i've never heard in those years anybody in the u.s. government use the word compelance. second, i never have heard in all my discussions across the
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years in international relations anybody talk about u.s. wanting hedge emni or hegemonic rool around the world. it doesn't just come up. and i've confirmed that with a number of people. just a quick reflection on the nuclear armed bomb. i was deeply involved in that. you know the war head on this small age nt round was 1 kilo ton. a thousand tons of tnt. but it was an accident that we got that weapon as linten knows. t my real question is, and this is supposed to be provocative. how much, in your work, do you rely on articles about u.s. nuclear weapons and nuclear strategy on the international relations ir journals? and my question is, because i never found them myself of any use to me in working on the
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uclear problems. >> firstly, thank you very much for clarifying that. and the u.s. government does not use the word nuclear compelance. in my article, i try to say to tell its ally that is the united states wants to protect them. that is a way to provide global protection and to have global leadership. so that's my way. not i'm a y -- and scholar by training. i'm a physicist by training. fortunately, i have friends
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like rose, like linten, who are always correcting me. i do not rely on ir ournals. >> edward from the center from arms control and no proliferation. dr. li, your article was fascinating and i second verybody's -- i'll read it carefully. but your ideas that particularly impressed me are despite the previous question difference between deterrence the mpelance in -- and comments in your article that china sees nuclear weapons as
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militarily unuseable and particularly not relevant to a conflict that begins as a conventional conflict. when i think of where those ideas might be most applicable, i am drawn to the case of the cargo yill conflict between pakistan and india where quite clearly pakistan viewed nuclear weapons as having the ability to deter a nuclear attack and make a conventional war more profitable for pakistan. and i wonder if you could point us to any cases in which china has remon straited with pakistan regarding the usefulness of nuclear weapons and the implications, for
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ample, of giving pactcal commanders control over nuclear weapons. >> thank you. thank you very much for your omment and the question. i believe that my government d the pakistani government have nuclear dialogue. unfortunately, i'm not part of that. but i presently visited pakistan a few years ago. i gave a couple talks there in islam bad and tried to convince them that nuclear weapons are not useful. i did not know to what extent they would agree with me, but that's ve seen that
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good. want to come to china to work with me. and that's very good. and i sent one to pakistan so i will understand their roles about nuclear weapon. and he has a very interesting finding. , at is, today, some americans they believe that nuclear weapons are useful. some pakistani attitudes believe that technical nuclear weapons are useful. some japanese believe that nuclear -- nuclear weapons is important. you could see that there are other ways but they share the same concept. so this is something we should pay attention to. so thank you very much for your
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question. and you've given a chance to mention this. >> i want to push back on a word that you used. we used the term tactical nuclear weapons. that being said, all nuclear weapons used is strategic. that wasn't always true. you can go back in to the 60s and it was meaningful to talk about. but strategic by definition alters the overall conflict. and any use of nuclear weapons -- whether it is success or not -- will alter the overall conflict in huge ways. d so this nonstrategic nuclear weapons category that we invented for convenience in in control is not aiding
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intelligent thought, because it leads us to believe that there is some nuclear weapons use that is somehow ok. and that's not right. for at least one reason that nobody has any idea what happens after that. because we have zero experience in escalation management after nuclear use. and lots of experience in calation that no side wanted actually happening. so i would really urge -- bin started out with his comments about the importance of terms. here's a term that the united states uses all the time that leads to misunderstanding in other states. nd if you all wanted to just ban together and abolish it, that would be a good thing.
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> my question is, what role do russian nuclear weapons and indian nuclear weapons play in china's thinking about its need for its own force? -- let me s -- china begin with this. my dear american colleagues explained that their opinions about this. let me explain my definition about what is strategic stability. strategic stability means no incentive to use nuclear force. no incentive to use nuclear arms race. i think that the two definitions are the original definitions starting from the 1906s. and today i believe that we
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should adhere to this definition. the difference is about what approach should be most important. in the cold war the approach as about the nuclear force structures. and people wanted to have good force structures so neither side would have incentive to launch nuclear weapons first. today, i believe this is still useful. that is why i do not want china to deploy. i do not want the u.s. to deploy missile defense. but rose and linten both emphasized the importance of transparency. i agree. they are important to reduce the incentives of arms race and nuclear weapons use. but i would libling to add one more approach.
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that is to commit no first use. if you commit to no first use, change your e to force. and you would have to send signals to your rivals that you would not use nuclear weapons force. for your question. china and russia have a bilateral agreement. china and india both have universal no first use commitment. so our relation with india and with russia, requires to remove e reference of nuclear weapons. we try not to emphasize the inferences of nuclear weapons. but i believe that is the
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nature of our nuclear relations with india and with russia. even we ested that have problems. do not want nuclear differences would matter in our relations. >> i'm from tech world. i would just like to make a quick comment regarding mr. li's remark on u.s. arms sales to taiwan. the u.s. arms sale to taiwan is conducted according to the taiwan relations act. and this act is -- was enacted by the u.s. congress in 1979 with an aim to help maintain stability, security, and in the western pacific. thank you very much.
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>> ok. i think we've got time for one more question. o -- >> my name is walt. i used to work in the defense department but not nearly as long as hank. and for this audience i feel compelled to emphasize that it's hank and not frank. my question relites to no first use. >> no relations. >> i think they're not relations. they have no intellectual relationship. i guess my question about no first use is what does it mean? is it an absolute commitment? that there is no conceiveable circumstance in which a country would use nuclear weapons other than a nuclear attack on itself ? bearing in mind that things can get very bad.
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by the way, i think the idea that pakistan doesn't regard nuclear weapons as a backstop against indian attack. because it's not consistent with the history of pakistan and india. but the central question is by the no first use policy, do you mean an absolute irrevocable commitment never to use nuclear weapons except in the context of a nuclear attack? > who would like to start? >> really, i'm not the right the position in of my country. but my belief is the same as you just said. but i want to emphasize another side. we should know that no first use includes two parts.
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one, what you just said. the other part, it's not to threaten to use nuclear weapons. that part is very important. if you do not threaten to use a nuclear weapon, then you significantly reduce the roles of nuclear weapons. o that is a way we promote nuclear disarmment globally. >> i want to go back to something i said earlier. there is a fundamental difference between china's security situation and the u.s. and that is the existence of alliance. my chinese colleagues often say why won't you accept no first use? i'll tell you why. because the minute we say no first use, a number of states
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that don't have nuclear weapons now because they depend on the american umbrella will reconsider that. i know china doesn't believe it's a threat to south korea but i don't know that south korea pleeves that. i know china doesn't intend to threaten japan, but i'm positive japan isn't convinced of that. both of those are countries which are technologically capable of developing nuclear weapons. so i understand the community that thinks no first use is a nderful tool of countering proliferation. and the only problem with that is it's wrong. that in fact u.s. no first use under the alliance system won't stop proliferation. nd it may increase it. the question of what no first
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of the is only one problems that i very seldom quote the russian federation on nuclear things. but set ago side it's their real policy, the policy pressed in the december 2014 military doctrine that nuclear weapons use is appropriate for conventional conflicts where the very survival of the state is at issue. it does not seem to me to be a bad policy. we would add the very survival of the state or of our alliance partners that we are obligated to defend. i also make the standard argument, f -- i believe the chinese no first use policy. not all of my colleagues do but i believe it.
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pu it is factually true that states have gone in and out of that policy in the blink of an eye before. the soviet union, the russian federation. and so it seems to me to be a thin read to hang on to stability on. >> i would just like to add one point. i wanted to make the point about alliance relationships but linten has very abley done that. the other point i would really like to underscore is that we debated this matter long and hard during a nuclear posture that i referenced at the beginning of my remarks. it is a matter that people in our government take extremely seriously. and i know it has been for multiple administrations where whether republican or democratic. they have grappled hard with this issue. that is why we ended up with a formulation only in extreme circumstances. that means something to us. it means something to our president, it means something to our planners.
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but in addition to the alliance factor that linten pointed to, there's also a factor that for a long time that's been grappled with. that is relating to the deterrence to other weapons of mass destruction use. so again, you can argue whether it's a good idea, whether to sustain at least the potential for nuclear use to respond to a biological attack for example. but this is another factor that has featured heavily in u.s. official think ong this matter. but it is one -- among many issues in the nuclear realm of this government to take very seriously and i know it will be debated again in the next administration when the next nuclear posture is used -- is taken forward. so thank you. >> thank you. >> well, clearly today we've all been treated to an exceptionally interesting conversation -- a conversation that can only happen at a global think tank like carnegie
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where you have china specialists like li bin who reside in both the united states and china. we have rose and linten that go in and out of government that allow us to get at some of the core issues at the heart of strategic stability in u.s.-china relations. so please join me in thanking them. >> and thank you, evan. >> thank you very much. a great job. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2016]
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