China's evolving nuclear posture – Part II- The evolution of China's Nuclear Strategy


  1. Neill, D.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN)
This paper is the second part of a larger study the principal purpose of which is to determine the trajectory of China’s nuclear weapons policy, strategy, capability and doctrine. Building on the first paper, which provided a benchmark for comparative analysis in the form of an overview of the evolution of US nuclear strategy since the end of the Second World War, this paper discusses the origins of China’s nuclear strategy; its view of deterrence; what certain elements of its declaratory policy reveal about Beijing’s nuclear strategy; and where that strategy appears to stand at present. The paper concludes that while the evolution of China’s nuclear strategy bear some resemblance to Western patterns of nuclear evolution, the process has been largely unique; and that although Beijing will probably maintain an official commitment to minimal deterrence, China’s nuclear strategy has progressed well beyond its declaratory policy, and is continuing to change rapidly. Further papers in this study will examine China’s strategic nuclear forces, and investigate the principal drivers of China’s declaratory policy, nuclear strategy, and nuclear doctrine. The study will conclude with a comprehensive report discussing the apparent trajectory of China’s nuclear posture and the implications thereof for Canada and its allies, and suggesting directions for future research.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

China;Chinese;Nuclear;Nuclear Weapons;Nuclear Strategy;Strategy;Asia;Asian Security;Deterrence
Report Number
DRDC-CORA-TM-2011-156 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Sep 2011
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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