China's Nuclear Lessons from the Ukraine War
Weekly Newsletters

China's Nuclear Lessons from the Ukraine War



14 October 2022

This week, Tong Zhao analyses how Russia’s nuclear threats in Ukraine could impact China’s “no first use” nuclear weapons policy. Namrata Goswami takes stock of the weaponization of space on the Outer Space Treaty’s 55th anniversary. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty turns 25, prompting a new push to get it over the finish line. Elaine Natalie and Joel Petersson-Ivre discuss how an IAEA-brokered nuclear security agreement in Ukraine might inspire confidence building on the Korean Peninsula. We also continue our search for a graphic designer and highlight member activities.

Implications for Russia’s Nuclear Signaling During
the Ukraine War for China’s Nuclear Policy

Tong Zhao, APLN board member and Senior Fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, argues that China has been watching and learning from Russia’s implicit threat to use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict. Zhao says China’s lessons from the war could lead to further ambiguity and uncertainty in China’s “no first use” nuclear weapons policy in potential conflicts, including one over Taiwan.

This brief is published under the “Reducing the Risk of Nuclear Weapons Use in Northeast Asia” (NU-NEA) project, a collaboration between APLN, the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition-Nagasaki University (RECNA), and the Nautilus Institute.

Read the Policy Brief

The Outer Space Treaty at 55

Namrata Goswami, an independent scholar specializing in space policy, reminds us that although the Outer Space Treaty bans placing weapons of mass destruction in orbit, the treaty hasn’t stopped the weaponization of space. She says it’s time for a new international agreement more in tune with contemporary developments and technologies.

Read the Commentary

Ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Robert Floyd, Izumi Nakamitsu, Kausea Natano, Kenneth Darroux, Simeón Oyono Esono Angue, Mamadou Tangara, and Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno call the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty a success story in a world grappling with multiple crises. It’s time to get the CTBT entered into force, they declare in this op-ed published in partnership with the European Leadership Network (ELN).

Read the Commentary

Lessons from Zaporizhzhia for inter-Korean nuclear security cooperation

One development could hold promising implications for containing a potential crisis on the Korean Peninsula: the push by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi to create a nuclear security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. Joel Petersson-Ivre and Elaine Natalie say it’s worth considering whether North and South Korea can reach a similar agreement in The Korea Times.

Read the column

APLN is accepting applications for the position of Graphic Designer. This person will be a critical part of our team, responsible for helping to drive the creative direction of APLN campaigns. Candidates should have a flair for typography, layout, and art direction to produce the best work possible. Applications can be forwarded to

Read the Job Advert

Ukraine and the Global Nuclear Order

John Tilemann, APLN Senior Associate Fellow, argues that Russia’s war in Ukraine has again demonstrated the weaknesses but also some of the strengths of the global nuclear order in Australian Outlook, a national online publication by the Australian Institute of International Affairs.

The World According to Xi Jinping

Kevin Rudd, former Australian Prime Minister, writes in Foreign Affairs that Marxist-Leninist ideology is now central to Chinese politics and policymaking, with major consequences for the entire world.

China’s party congress is significant for India, world

Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary of India, writes in Hindustan Times that India should monitor China’s Communist Party Congress carefully as it’ll contain important clues to domestic and external policy directions.

Multilateral diplomacy: wild card with caveats for Seoul

Kim Won-soo, Chair of the international advisory board of the Taejae Academy, argues in The Korea Times that in the conduct of multilateral diplomacy, Seoul has to be conscious of three caveats.

Nuclear Deterrence in Contemporary World

In ‘Diplomatic Dispatch’, APLN members Rakesh Sood and Manpreet Sethi talk about what raising the nuclear stakes means for the war in Ukraine and for the world at large.



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