Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Living with Uncertainty: Modeling China's Nuclear Survivability

| Spring 2020


Many strategists argue that to deter a nuclear attack, states must be certain of their ability to retaliate after a nuclear first strike. China's nuclear posture of uncertain retaliation suggests an alternative logic. A simplified nuclear exchange model developed to evaluate China's nuclear retaliatory capabilities against the Soviet Union in 1984 and the United States in 2000 and 2010 shows that China's nuclear retaliatory capability has been and remains far from assured. This study suggests that China’s criterion for effective nuclear deterrence is very low.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Wu Riqiang, "Living with Uncertainty: Modeling China's Nuclear Survivability," International Security, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Spring 2020), pp. 84-118.

The Author