China’s Nuclear Modernisation: The Evolution of Chinese Nuclear Doctrine, Strategic Ambiguities & Implications for Sino-U.S. Relations

James Johnson, Andrew Futter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

China was the fifth state to join the nuclear club in 1964, and the last to do so before the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was agreed. This chapter sets out the genesis of the Chinese nuclear weapons programme and explains how thinking has evolved from the 'socialist proliferation' of the 1960s to China becoming a key player in 'orthodox' global nuclear order by the 1990s. It looks in more detail at the major components and dynamics that underpin Chinese nuclear thinking and strategy, particularly the commitment to 'minimum nuclear deterrence', the policy of no first nuclear use, and China's relations with key nuclear institutions. The chapter looks at recent Chinese nuclear modernisation and considers the key drivers of this change and reviews the new and evolving missions for Chinese nuclear forces. It considers the new questions being raised about the no-first-use pledge and increasing doctrinal ambiguity and examines the possible implications for future US– China relations, regional stability and escalation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNuclear Politics in Asia
EditorsMarzieh Kouhi Esfahani, Ariabarzan Mohammadi
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter7
Number of pages20
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)1351858114
ISBN (Print)9781351858113
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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