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Hu:Nuclear policy a gift to world peace

Time:2014-08-27 15:04Source:军控协会 Author:Hu Yumin Click:
To dispel doubts over its defensive defense policy, China is making its military more transparent, and the recent unveiling of Chinas new ballistic missile submarine was part of that effort. But the Western media reacted by saying that Chinas ballistic mi
To dispel doubts over its defensive defense policy, China is making its military more transparent, and the recent unveiling of China's new ballistic missile submarine was part of that effort. But the Western media reacted by saying that China's ballistic missile submarines are a destabilizing factor in the West Pacific region. It's ironic that China is singled out for criticism for developing ballistic missile submarines while the other nuclear powers are not.

Generally speaking, ballistic missile submarines can be regarded as a destabilizing factor only if they have the potential of triggering a new nuclear arms race or a new round of nuclear proliferation. Apparently, China's ballistic missile submarines will trigger neither.
The primary mission of ballistic missile submarines is nuclear deterrence and they maintain the threat of a second strike. They could also be seen as a stabilizing factor if they are used to replace some nuclear weapon systems with low viability and low reliability (especially if it reduces the nuclear arsenal).

Since nuclear powers are focusing on "extended nuclear deterrence" and developing missile defense systems that could undermine strategic stability in the Asia-Pacific region, developing ballistic missile submarines to maintain the effectiveness of China's self-defense nuclear power should be seen as a stabilizing, not destabilizing, factor.
Strategic "stability" cannot and should not be static. But the changes that take place should always be predictable and controllable, and take some positive or constructive directions, including achieving a new strategic balance. It is thus preposterous to ask China to give up its legal right to strengthen its self-defense capability, especially because some countries and blocs are upgrading or expanding their military with an eye to China.
 
nteractions among nuclear powers play a vital role in maintaining strategic stability. To eliminate the possible incentive of using nuclear weapons first is not equal to "mutually assured destruction". The most feasible strategic choice is to unilaterally promise not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and, at the same time, strengthen one's counterattack ability. China will not deviate from this principle while improving its nuclear strategy.
Some people say strategic stability means striking an overall balance between two nuclear powers, while others argue that strategic stability means allowing the nuclear superpower to play the dominant role across the world. The world today is more multi-polar than ever and it demands a new type of strategic stability that favors peaceful development. China has been playing a constructive role in the global security structure by according the highest priority to strategic stability, which is based on low-level but effective defensive self-armament.

China has never followed the nuclear strategy of "mutually assured destruction" or participated in a nuclear arms race. Ever since China became a nuclear power it has vowed not to be the first to use a nuclear weapon no matter what the situation is. It has also announced that it would never use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon countries or regions.
China is developing nuclear weapons to guard against nuclear blackmail, maintain strategic stability and establish a security environment that will not have any use for nuclear weapons. The new type of strategic stability that China is promoting is a special contribution to the security environment and conducive to peaceful development in Asia and the world beyond.

The author is a senior research fellow with China Arms Control and Disarmament Association.
(China Daily 08/12/2014 page9)
 
(Editor:军控协会)
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