This is also a big deal because of what it signals about the balance of nuclear weapons in the world — who has them, how many, and what risks that raises. China has historically resisted nukes talks on a bilateral and multilateral basis because its arsenal is still a fraction of the US or Russia’s, and it fretted that such transparency would also impose limitations on its own capabilities. “On some level, this is a recognition that China is moving into the category that the United States and Russia — previously the Soviet Union — were in and are in with regard to their nuclear arsenal, and I think that is a significant historical shift,” said Jacob Stokes, senior fellow in the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
“They’re moving into that reluctantly — backing into it rather than shouting it from the rooftops,” he added. But it still is a signal that the nuclear balance among major powers is shifting, and the architecture around that needs to change, too.
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