China’s military wants to put its relatively small nuclear arsenal on hair-trigger alert for the first time, according to newly translated documents. That’s not good. Such a radical departure from the country’s long-time nuclear policy could pose a threat not only to the U.S., but also to China itself.
Gregory Kulacki, an analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, discovered evidence of this potential policy change in a number of Chinese military documents. He published a paper this week that provides the details of what he found.
Why is the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) considering such a major policy change?
According to Kulacki, it’s due to U.S. intimidation.
“It’s a combination of factors,” he explained. “First, the PLA is worried that it doesn’t have a credible nuclear retaliatory counterweight to highly accurate U.S. nuclear weapons, conventional weapons and missile defense systems. Second, U.S. officials have refused to acknowledge that the United States is vulnerable to a Chinese retaliatory strike, which the Chinese think means the United States is not deterred from attacking them.
And third, the United States has threatened China with a nuclear attack a number of times and still refuses to adopt a no-first-use policy. All that makes the PLA very nervous.” Read More