Chinese Perceptions of the Utility of Nuclear Weapons: Prospects and Potential Problems in Disarmament Proliferation Papers, No. 34, Spring 2010
This paper takes a careful look at China's perceptions of the role of nuclear weapons in its national security policy and defense posture.
This is important because China is perceived to be the only country among the five original nuclear-weapon States that is actually expanding its nuclear arsenal, and is also developing anti-space weapons and missile defense, as well as cruise missile capabilities. The qualitative as well as quantitative improvements of the Chinese nuclear arsenal raise important questions for the global nuclear balance in 2025 as the United States and Russia implement their nuclear disarmament commitments, further cutting down their nuclear arsenals. The more critical question to ask is, therefore, how Beijing views the utility of nuclear weapons and how and to what extent such perspectives influence China's attitudes toward and participation in multilateral nuclear disarmament.