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Weekly Roundup: Biden-Xi Agree to Pursue 'Strategic Stability' Talks

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AP842706807602-Chinese President Xi Jinping US President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping of China this week agreed to begin a dialogue on “strategic stability” — a step with potential consequences for future disarmament talks, the upcoming P5 meeting in Paris, and possibly even for the long-delayed Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference (RevCon) in January. “It is now incumbent on us to think about the most productive way to carry it forward from here,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said during an event following the Nov. 15 virtual meeting. The agreement, described as tentative given the need to establish a means for carrying out such a dialogue, follows a recent Pentagon assessment that Beijing’s nuclear warhead count could grow to 700 over the next six years and to 1,000 by 2030. But experts caution that unless such talks receive high priority in Washington, the effort could simply fizzle. The P5, scheduled to meet in early December, is expected to come up with a unified statement on the NPT's Article 6 dealing with disarmament ahead of the RevCon.

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