Stopping a Nuclear Arms Race between America and China – Hugh White

From Lowy Institute for International Policy website:

… There is a clear risk that China and the US will be drawn into an escalating and mutually reinforcing cycle of responses to one another’s strategic developments. To preserve minimum deterrence in the face of US offensive and defensive developments, China is likely to expand the number, sophistication and variety of its offensive forces, and modify its doctrine. The US in turn may well interpret those measures as an attempt by China to challenge US strategic primacy, and to strengthen a deterrent screen behind which it can apply conventional pressure in regional contingencies like Taiwan. It is therefore likely that the US would in turn respond by further enhancing its offensive forces and missile defences to stay ahead of China’s countermeasures. As US forces grew, China would do more to counteract them, and so both sides would seem likely to be drawn into an arms race. This poses very significant risks.[Full Text]

Hugh White is a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy and Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University.

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