Nuclear Issues

279 Items

President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Bali

Alex Brandon | AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Despite Rumors of War, the U.S. and China Can Manage Their Relationship

| June 14, 2023

As the Biden administration and Congress struggle to get their heads around the challenge posed by China today, they should reflect on lessons learned in America’s success in winning the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Just because fundamental and irresolvable differences in values and interests compel the United States and China to be formidable rivals does not mean a hot war is a viable option.

Visitors tour past military vehicles carrying the Dong Feng 41 and DF-17 ballistic missiles at the Beijing Exhibition Hall in Beijing on Oct. 12, 2022.

AP Photo/Andy Wong

Journal Article - International Security

The Dynamics of an Entangled Security Dilemma: China’s Changing Nuclear Posture

  • Henrik Stålhane Hiim
  • M. Taylor Fravel
  • Magnus Langset Trøan
| Spring 2023

Chinese strategists increasingly believe that U.S. nonnuclear strategic capabilities threaten China’s nuclear forces. Although there is limited evidence of a shift in its nuclear strategy, China is changing its strategic posture to ensure its second-strike capability, including by relying on advanced conventional weapons (e.g., counterspace capabilities, cyber weapons, and electronic warfare) that can target U.S. missile defense. The dynamics of a nuclear-conventional entangled security dilemma may weaken arms race stability.

Two photos of American and Chinese soldiers juxtaposed and facing each other.

NDU Press

Analysis & Opinions - PRISM - National Defense University

The 21st Century's Great Military Rivalry

| September 30, 2022

A quarter-century ago, China conducted what it called “missile tests” bracketing the island of Taiwan to deter it from a move toward independence by demonstrating that China could cut Taiwan’s ocean lifelines. In response, in a show of superiority that forced China to back down, the United States deployed two aircraft carriers to Taiwan’s adjacent waters. If China were to repeat the same missile tests today, it is highly unlikely that the United States would respond as it did in 1996. If U.S. carriers moved that close to the Chinese mainland now, they could be sunk by the DF-21 and DF-26 missiles that China has since developed and deployed. This article presents three major theses concerning the military rivalry between China and the United States in this century.

A type 094A Jin-class nuclear submarine Long March 10 of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy participates in a naval parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of China's PLA Navy in the sea near Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province, April 23, 2019.

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Then What? Assessing the Military Implications of Chinese Control of Taiwan

| Summer 2022

An analysis of Taiwan’s military value concludes that its reunification with China would improve Chinese submarine warfare and ocean surveillance capabilities, tipping the military balance in China’s favor. These findings have important implications for U.S. operational planning, policy, and grand strategy.

Chinese military vehicles carrying DF-17 ballistic missiles roll during a parade, Oct. 1, 2019.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Assessing China-U.S. Inadvertent Nuclear Escalation

| Winter 2021/22

Could a conventional war between China and the United States escalate to the nuclear level? An assessment of three mechanisms of China-U.S. inadvertent escalation—use-it-or-lose-it, unauthorized/accidental, and damage limitation—concludes that the risk of China-U.S. inadvertent nuclear escalation is extremely low.

Tomas Roggero via Flickr

Tomas Roggero via Flickr

Report Chapter - Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Assuring Destruction Forever: 2022 Edition

| January 2022

Under the guidance of its self-defence nuclear strategy, China will continue to modernise its nuclear force in order to maintain a reliable second-strike retaliatory capability. China’s nuclear weapon modernisation has been responsive to the advances of military capabilities of other countries, particularly the US. As Hu Side emphasised, “The sole purpose for China to maintain a limited nuclear counterattack force is to deter a potential nuclear strike. However, the development of US missile defense and the long-rang strike capability with high accuracy to target mobile missiles is in practice to decrease the effectiveness of Chinese nuclear deterrence. Thus, it surely leads to Chinese attention."

President Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The U.S.-China Future: Competition and Collaboration With a Rising China

| Fall 2021

Whether they regard it as competitive, cooperative, or confrontational, virtually all observers agree that the U.S.-China relationship is consequential. From cyber norms and AI to military tensions in the Taiwan Strait and the global struggle to turn the tide on climate change, how Washington and Beijing manage their shared future will shape the globe for decades to come. Through research and relationship-building, the Center is dedicated to helping the U.S. and China collaborate and compete without conflict.

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On China's Nuclear Fuel Cycle

| Dec. 06, 2021

On December 6, 2021, Managing the Atom Senior Research Associate Hui Zhang presented to a virtual meeting of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Merits and Viability of Different Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Technology Options and the Waste Aspects of Advanced Nuclear Reactors.