China’s Nuclear Policy: Change and Continuity
Policy Briefs

China’s Nuclear Policy: Change and Continuity

APLN Policy Brief 23

The following is a summary. Click on the adjacent link to download the full brief.

China takes a philosophically unique approach in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. China’s nuclear policy is substantially different from other nuclear powers’ in terms of declaratory policy, acquisition policy, deployment policy and employment policy. Moreover, this has remained largely unchanged for several decades regardless of the changes in the international security environment and of China’s economic and technological progress. China is improving its nuclear transparency in a subtle and gradual way, and is making some limited efforts to improve the survivability of its small nuclear forces. China learned the right lessons from the Cold War arms race. If China is confident about the survivability of its nuclear forces, it will be comfortable with asymmetrical deterrence and vulnerability.

About the Author

Fan Jishe is Director for Strategic Studies, and Deputy Director of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation Studies at the Institute of American Studies in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing.

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