China’s Changing Nuclear Posture – Harsh V Pant

From ISN Security Watch:

Defying long-standing conventional wisdom in the US that China lacks the wherewithal to formulate a long-term national policy on weapons, a new report on China’s forces presents convincing evidence about its gradual move away from its “minimal deterrent” posture.

Even a cursory reading of world politics would suggest that as a nation’s capabilities rise, so does its ambitions to play a larger role in global affairs. For long, China watchers have been arguing that the country’s minimal deterrence nuclear posture goes against this thinking and therefore, the argument went, China did not seem very interested in challenging US global dominance.

But as the latest report from the US Army War College reveals, the Chinese political and leadership is gradually revising its nuclear posture and even preparing for the possibility of using nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive counter attack should the need arise. [Full Text]

Harsh V Pant is a lecturer at the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London.



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