In early November the United States and China held their first talks on nuclear security and arms control since 2019. The talks came ahead of a much anticipated meeting between President Biden and President Xi in San Francisco.
There were no tangible outcomes from these initial nuclear security talks, but the fact that they happened at all is a sign of progress according to my guest today Rachel Elizabeth Whitlark. She is an Associate Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Nonresident senior fellow in the Forward Defense practice of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. She is also author of the book "All Options on the Table: Leaders, Preventive War, and Nuclear Proliferation" which includes archival research on how past US administrations approached the Chinese nuclear program. And as you will see from our conversation, that history is instructive for understanding why China may be seeking to expand its nuclear program today.