On what would otherwise be a solemn year of remembrance to mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States is shaking up the status quo in regards to nuclear weapons — and raising fears of a new arms race, this one with China.

From announcing its planned exit from the Open Skies Treaty that permits each party to conduct short-notice, military reconnaissance flights over the others' territory, to contemplating a return to live tests of nuclear explosions and eyeing the deployment of advanced missiles to Asia — possibly to Japan — the moves are a drastic shift from an era that had focused almost exclusively on reining in weapons of mass destruction.

Many of the moves, according to top officials in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, have been aimed squarely at creating what they have termed “a new era of arms control” — one that would bring China into the fold.