Arms Racing or Strategic Stability? The Biden Administration and the Military Rivalry with China

During the Presidency of Donald Trump US-China relations were marked by strategic competition and arms racing. Some of these trends may prevail even when Joe Biden takes over the White House in Washington, DC. Economically less affected by the coronavirus crisis than America, China could well continue or even increase its military buildup in the years to come. Joe Biden, faced with fiscal pressures due to the pandemic will have to implement the most expensive nuclear modernization program of all times. Thus, the scene is set; the big question is which course of action will prevail in US foreign and security policy with respect to China: arms racing or a joint pursuit of strategic stability?

Last year, IFSH Hamburg published the first in-depth study about possible concepts for trilateral arms control between the US, China, and Russia: “Trilateral Arms Control? Perspectives from Washington, Moscow and Beijing”. Now, in light of the Presidential transition in the United States, it is time to take once more a closer look at the future of US-Chinese relations and therewith the feasibility or impracticability of arms control measures between the two powers. 

Two leading international experts from China and the United States, Dr. Tong Zhao and Dr. David Santoro, will help scan the horizon and answer the question whether arms racing or strategic stability will characterize Sino-American relations under Joe Biden. Dr. Ulrich Kühn will assess what each possible future will mean for Europe and Germany. You can download the report on trilateral arms control here

We invite you to join our virtual event on Friday, 15 January 2021, 9 – 10 a.m. (CET). 




  • Dr. Tong Zhao, Senior Fellow in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
  • Dr. David Santoro, Vice President and Director for Nuclear Policy Programs, Pacific Forum 
  • Dr. Ulrich Kühn, Head of the Research Area “Arms Control and Emerging Technologies”, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg


  • Dr. Barbara Kunz, Senior Researcher, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg 

Q & A from Audience 


Please register here and you will receive the Zoom ID and password.

The event is held in English.

We look forward to your participation in this event.