First Strike — China omission of no-first-use nuclear doctrine in defense white paper signals policy shift

China omitted a reference to its no-first-use strategic nuclear weapons doctrine in a recently published government white paper, indicating Beijing shifted the policy as part of its large-scale nuclear arms buildup.

The omission, along with recent comments by a senior Chinese military officer, is raising new concerns among Pentagon officials about China’s nearly opaque strategic arms buildup.

Chinese Maj. Gen. Yao Yunzhu, a senior researcher at China’s Academy of Military Science, revealed earlier this month that China is considering expanding its growing nuclear arsenal in response to U.S. missile defense deployments and upgrades. Continue reading