Experts Say

Is China Abandoning Its 'No First Use' Nuclear Policy?

March 21, 2018
By Ben Lowsen

As the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) shapes itself into a “world-class force,” it is also modernizing its nuclear weapons stockpile. Keeping one’s nuclear deterrent in good repair, maintaining strict control, and clearly communicating its purpose is the mark of a responsible actor. China, however, is doing much, much more while keeping the rest of the world in the dark. Now, some observers even suggest China may abandon its longstanding “No First Use” (NFU) nuclear policy, which would signal China’s intent to stand alongside the United States and Russia as a nuclear power capable of inflicting destruction beyond ordinary catastrophe.
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