A Chinese Disconnect

Posted: March 22, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , , , , ,

A lift from James N. Miller, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy as reported by the American Forces Press Service, AKA the Department of Defense:

…When Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates visited China earlier this year, he proposed a strategic dialogue to cover space, cyberspace, nuclear missile defense and other topics…  

“We are quite optimistic about the prospects of beginning such a dialogue in the not-too-distant future,” Miller said.

I understand the call for optimism, but optimism itself?Would such optimism be based on…anything?  Shared goals, values, and ideals, for example?

From CBS in early 2011 regarding China’s 2007 ASAT test:

"The contradiction between China’s statements and actions in this area raise questions about the credibility of China’s declaratory policies and commitments in other areas of national security affairs. The U.S. is refraining from any expansion of space-related cooperation with China."

Or this from the Washington Post in mid January 2011 regarding Secretary Gate’s conversation with Chinese Minister of Defense Liang Guanglie:

Liang reacted tepidly to Gates’s (sic) proposal that the U.S. and Chinese militaries engage in a wide-ranging strategic dialogue on nuclear posture, cyberwarfare and North Korea, saying the PLA was "studying it."

For years, U.S. officials have also sought talks with China’s military on its nuclear weapons posture, cyber-warfare and other sensitive issues, such as contingencies on the Korean peninsula.

When things change in a hurry (say from January to March), there is usually causation.  I’m not sure what the optimism causation is in this case.

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