Chinese and US defence officials held talks in late November to discuss Washington’s concerns about Beijing’s rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal amid growing rivalry between the two sides could increase the risk of conflict. In a 2 December statement the Pentagon noted that the working-level meeting, which had been approved by President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to keep open the channels of communication, focused on the findings presented in the US Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) latest ‘China Military Power Report’, which was published on 3 November.

Very few details emerged from the meeting, but its relevance could be seen in the fact that the US delegation included representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while the Chinese delegation featured members of the Central Military Commission’s Office for International Military Cooperation (OIMC).

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