International arms control enters great transitional phase

China Military Online
Chen Zhuo

By Yan Meng

BEIJING, Nov. 26 (ChinaMil) -- The Sixth Young Scholars’ Forum in Chinese Studies was held on Saturday. During the forum, Guo Xiaobing, Deputy Director of Institute of Security and Arms Control Studies of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said that the international arms control is currently going through a great transitional phase, and explained its tremendous changes in nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security.
Firstly, the nuclear arms control, narrowly defined as the nuclear disarmament, is presently entering into the phase of aggressive major power competition. The original international arms control system is collapsing. The new system would be completely different from the previous ones.
Secondly, the nuclear non-proliferation is entering into a plateau period. The period of horizontal proliferation has passed. Although the diplomatic struggle can be very aggressive, many countries have technically capped it.
Lastly, the nuclear security has entered into a subdued and stable period since last year.
In addition, Guo said that the US nuclear policy has also made some important adjustments this year. Firstly, its major objects of nuclear deterrence have changed a lot. Nuclear terrorism used to be the biggest threat to the US. However, now the US new policy said that Russia, China, the DPRK and Iran are its major four threats. Secondly, the application of nuclear weapons is getting wider. The US announced for the first time that nuclear weapons will be used to retaliate against air attacks, space weapon attacks and cyber weapon attacks. Thirdly, the US is developing low-yield nuclear weapons in some regions, which increases its means of nuclear deterrents.


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