Is China Changing Its Position on Nuclear Weapons?

Believing that Communist China would abide by its no-first-use policy is only wishful thinking in the first place. As the United States continues down the path of suicidal disarmament, along with an almost two decade-old force collecting dust, countries such as China and Russia are modernizing their nuclear strategic forces. Within the next few years, they will likely have first strike capability. One shouldn’t expect them to hold back and leverage their military advantage to extract concessions from the USA.

INTERPRETING any country’s pronouncements about its nuclear weapons can be a study in fine distinctions, but occasionally a state says — or fails to say — something in a clear break from the past. A Chinese white paper on defense, released on Tuesday, falls into this category and now demands our attention, because it omits a promise that China will never use nuclear weapons first.

That explicit pledge had been the cornerstone of Beijing’s stated nuclear policy for the last half-century. The white paper, however, introduces ambiguity. It endorses the use of nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack but does not rule out other uses. Continue reading